Thursday, January 9, 2014

Writing Truths: On How Easy It Really Is

While I should probably be getting on with my story since there's a new book that I'm working on, I've been procrastinating it all morning and figured why not do it for a few more minutes as I kickstart something called Writing Truths. Please note that these are the Writing Truths that I am discovering on the way to being a 'real author.' I really didn't feel all that comfortable writing a series like this, because to be honest, I was like ''Well, I've only got one book out.'' But now that there's two of them out there, I feel I can at least share a few things about the journey on a regular basis. Also because a few of you said you'd like to know more about it. So here goes.

I thought I'd start with the first one. Many people ask ''How long does it take you to write a book?'' And I very truthfully answer ''About 3 months.'' But if I examine it, it's actually both shorter and longer. Shorter, in the sense, that there are times when I manage to write a chapter a day and it takes about a month to write a first draft. That's quite a pace, and I've been able to manage that one only after I quit the full-time job thing.

But it's also much longer. For example, I wrote ''Still Married, Thank You'', the follow up to ''Just Married, Please Excuse'' in about 30 days, but it's still lying in draft. When I re-read it, I just didn't feel like it was right, so it's on the backburner for now. I'm hoping to pick it up some day, but I know it will take some serious rework - so in the meantime, I've started work on another story - which also doesn't always ''feel right'' as I'm writing, but that's the main thing that I've learnt - just go ahead and write anyway. Tell that inner critic to go take a walk. Because you'll never finish if you listen too hard to her.

So yes, the thing is - it's hard. It may look easy, and maybe I've been making it look easy. But it's just really hard work to write a whole book. Because there's this little thing which takes up a LOT of time. And that's called Re-writing. It may not turn out anywhere near perfect the first time. But getting it out there and then taking a deep breath and then re-writing it again so that you feel better about it is the key. And then a small group of trusted people giving their honest (and brutal) opinion on your draft is important before going ahead and requesting an editor to spend time on it. In all my books, I've seen that I've had to re-write significant parts of it. The thing is - to not be afraid of the work, and just go ahead and do the damn thing. Getting started is the hardest part, always. And then, keeping at it. And then, finishing. Hah! So yes. Simple. Not Easy.

With that, my few more minutes of procrastination are over and it's time get out of my pajamas, take a shower and head to my writing place, which is a cafe thankfully situated within my colony.

Oh wait, but then there's this new Zumba routine I've been wanting to master for the class I'm taking tomorrow...


Hi there. Go on, say it. Well? WELL?