The Reluctant Writer

Hi, all. The following blogpost first appeared on Jungle Reds about a month ago. Unfortunately, not much has changed except that I had to put my dog down. He had cancer. I miss him.

writing1-1024x682I came across an article not long ago titled “My Friend Thinks I Don’t Work Because I’m a Writer…

In defense, the author said this:

“Even when we procrastinate, we are working, because we are so consciously aware of the fact that we are NOT producing in that moment but we’re thinking about WHAT we’re going to say when we actually do sit down at the computer.”

I wish I could claim that as an excuse. But, alas, I don’t think it applies to me. At least consciously. I’ve always been a “reluctant” writer— writing fiction is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am not one of those people who can’t wait to let words and images pour out of them. Who write ten pages in an hour. You know the type. Maybe you’re one of them. If so, I’m jealous. I’ll do ANYTHING to keep from writing. In fact, I have no idea how I wrote the latest four thrillers, including Nobody’s Child. The sad part is that I used to be more productive. I had a day job, a schedule, a routine. I wrote early in the morning and churned out right or nine books. Now though, it all seems to have dissipated into the ether.

To that end, here is a typical day for me.

7 am: Coffee and email. Respond. Check my rankings on various online booksellers. Check my number of Twitter followers, FB friends, Google+ circles.

Einstein 8 am: Walk the dog and listen to an audiobook (The most enjoyable part of my day)

8:30 am: Work out.

9:45am: Shower and get dressed. Wonder if it’s time for lunch.

10:30 am: Check email, Twitter, Google +. Respond if necessary. Unsubscribe from all the shopping emails that are cluttering up my inbox.

11:00 am: Go through my photos of Europe for the blogpost I promised myself I’d post two weeks ago. Remember how the Tiergarten in Berlin gave me an idea for one of the scenes in the novella I’m supposed to be writing.

11:30 am: Open the document I’m supposed to be writing. Read it again. Make one or two small revisions.

Noon: It’s lunchtime. Yay! Let dog out in the yard.

1:00 pm: Decide to write a blogpost. Start researching. Find a couple of articles whose titles are so captivating that I need to read them right away.

1:30 pm: Look out the window. Watch the mailman come. Wonder if I should go out and get mail. Or whether I need to go to the grocery store. Or the bank. Or the cleaners.

2:00 pm: Realize two-thirds of the day is gone and I haven’t written anything. Let the dog back in.

2:15 pm: Check my email and book rankings. Go on Facebook. Respond and reply. Wonder why I’m not getting more emails cluttering up my inbox.

3:00 pm: Call a friend or two or five. Or go to grocery store. Let dog ride in back because it’s his favorite thing to do.

3:45 pm: Realize only 90 minutes remain before the evening news. Start reading one of the articles I’ve bookmarked about promotion or Google Plus or foreign translations or something.

4:00 pm: Have a glass of wine because it’s 5 o’clock someplace. In the unlikely event I’m abstaining, a cup of tea.

4:15 pm: Start writing. One tortured paragraph at a time. After all, I only have to do it for 45 minutes.

5:00 pm: Stop writing. Watch the news. Think about dinner. Check email. Wonder if there are productivity shrinks and if I should try to find one.

Evening: Binge watch something on Netflix or Amazon. Or go out. Or read. Go to bed.

Is there any hope? If you have suggestions, I’m all ears.

The 4th Georgia Davis novel.
The 4th Georgia Davis novel.

While you’re thinking of a great solution to my quandary, here’s a little bit about Nobody’s Child. It’s the fourth installment of my Georgia Davis series, and it’s possibly the darkest thriller I’ve ever written. Think Karin Slaughter or Tess Gerritsen on steroids. In it Georgia discovers she has a half-sister she never knew about. That sister is now in Chicago, and involved in a sex trafficking ring. When Georgia tries to extricate her, she runs into an old enemy (whom I wrote about in An Image of Death). So if you want to read the “backstory,” once you finish NoNewimageaudio-sq copybody’s Child, it’s available.