Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Writer's World

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Doesn’t this quote define the essence of a good writer? Show me.

Do you remember the classical movie, My Fair Lady, and Audrey Hepburn’s singing with Julie Andrews’s voice? Show Me.

Before we immersed ourselves in workshops about show vs tell, we instinctively knew the difference between a boring book with paragraphs of descriptions and a fast-paced story that takes us on a ride where we experience the characters’ feelings.

Obviously while sitting in our chair, fingers hopping on the keyboard we try hard to show our characters’ actions and feelings. We often become a character to better experience their emotions, live their lives.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

No kidding? Are we writers schizophrenics in denial? Maybe.

My husband would agree with that quote as he repeats for the third time, “I’m talking to you. Come back. Live with us.” Too often, while I am concentrating on the story I am creating on my monitor screen I live in my little world.

Am I missing on life while I withdraw in my stories?

My friends threw a big party to celebrate my first book, TO LOVE A HERO, and advised me to start enjoying life now that I reached my goal and published a book.

But one book published wasn't my goal. I didn't stop writing and I didn't socialize more. My second book, FRENCH PERIL, came out but few of my friends bothered to congratulate me. They think I am pushing it too much.

Will I wake up one day and wish I hadn’t spent so much time on my own?

Writing is my life. I can't stop.

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy

Writers do you feel isolated?
Readers do you realize how much work goes into a book creation?


Heather Hiestand said...

Having known a schizophrenic man in my family, I would say that whatever is wrong with us isn't that! It is amazing how I can just lose time writing down these imaginary peoples' lives though. And I doubt anyone other than a writer understands. I cowrote a middle grade fiction book recently and gave it to relatives to read. They loved it and regularly demand the sequel as if it can be written overnight. I wish!

Mona Risk said...

You are so right Heather. Only a writer can understand a writer.

Molly Daniels said...

I've been accused of shutting out the world and missing out on LIFE. But if writing makes me happy, why not? There's still plenty of time to enjoy it, and I don't write ALL the time...

Amarinda Jones said...

Nope - I never feel isolated as it's my choice to write and yes, of course readers know what goes into a book. They are no different to you or I

Sandra Cox said...

Thank goodness for the internet. Can you imagine how isolated one would feel without it.
My opinion: Making it as a successful, financially independent writer has got to be one of the toughest jobs out there.

Regina Carlysle said...

Yes. I feel isolated, at least among others who have no idea what I do. I don't want to BE there among them. I want to be behind my computer. Is it a sickness? I don't know. I only know I'm driven and I can't stop.Thank GOD for my writer friends. They keep me sane...most of the time. LOL

Mona said...

It IS indeed another world for the writers!

It is a lot of isolation and breaking away from people...

Jacquéline Roth said...

I love the quotes! Writer Holly Black said at a conference I attended that writing was the loneliest of professions. There isn't even the poor soul in the next cubical that you can at least make eye contact with to remember there is a world out there.

I think it is important to have a network of other writers around you because, and I don't mean to sound patronizing to readers, but most people close to us don't understand what goes into the writing process. I haven't written for a couple of weeks now and my SO says, "Just sit down and write." It's not that easy. If the guys aren't talking to me, I can't write it.

Sandra Cox said...

Just stopped by to say hey and have a good Sunday.