30 January 2012

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

No matter where we are, writers are always alone when we write.
Publishing is changing. There are more options now. Paper (hardback, mass market, or trade), electronic, both. Big Six traditional publishing, smaller publishers, tiny publishers, self publishing (AKA indie). So many choices! And the writer may feel more confused and alone than at any other time since the Gutenberg Press was invented.  

Yet we are alone, each of us, when we create our writing. Right now, I’m sitting at the dining table and my husband is three feet away (tiny apartment) playing with his new Wii. But I’m alone in my head. I’m thinking of you, my readers as I write this, but if I were writing fiction, I would be alone with my characters.  That has not—and will never—change. It all begins with a lone creative being quill/pen/pencil in hand, scrawling words across a page. Or that lone creative being typing words that appear on paper or screen. Technology changes, but the process remains the same. Somehow a seemingly normal person sees pictures in her (or his) head and manages to transfer these pictures into words on a page/screen. This process isn’t understood by scientists, and I don’t think it ever will be. 

You see, I believe this transfer of pictures in a writer’s head to something that readers can read and enjoy is magic. Yes, I said it magic. And I’m simply fortunate (or unfortunate!) to be one of those people. Sometimes I feel the weight of this gift. When I want to give up. When I worry I can’t do this thing, something inside me whispers, “It isn’t yours to give up.” The next thing I know, I find myself writing in spite of myself. Because if the magic is in you, it’s gonna come out. The best thing to do is to enjoy the ride.

Have a great week!


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