Nathan Hale's Yellowbelly is interviewing Dean (love of my life, apple of my eye) this week. Check it out--special Halloween episode!
We're working hard to finish up Stage 1 of Der Secret Project before November. It takes up a lot of my life these past months. Soon I will have much to report!
The conversation with Sara Zarr at the library was fun. When we asked how many people there wanted to be a writer, almost all the hands went up. So we talked a lot about process. Then Sara said something I've often observed myself. She said that during the years she was writing books before publication, she often went to author events, always hoping for that Secret. How to write a book. How to finish it. How to make it perfect, publishable. And she's since learned that there is no secret.
I remember feeling that way. And I often meet hopeful writers who seem to want the same from me. "But how do you do it?"
I don't know. I can talk about my process, but of course, all processes are different. I can explain how I motivate myself, but every writer is different. And I think the unhelpful conclusion is, How I do it is I just do it. I just write the darn book.
I wonder if it would shock some people if I revealed how often I consider quitting writing. (Daily? Honey, would you agree that it's a daily consideration?) It's HARD. It comes with a lot of bumps and bruises and moments of crisis, and sometimes I just want to be the mom who reads and watches TV and makes Halloween costumes. I can't, of course. I can't quit, any more than I can quit being me. But I don't have any secret about how to keep going anyway. How to write that book, how to get it published, how to keep going when the nasty voices start shouting you down or when the books don't sell or when life gets sticky and it seems impossible.
I just do it anyway. And I still read daily (though not as much as I'd like). And a couple days a week I still watch TV (Community is funny). And Dean makes Max's costume while Maggie and I do a puzzle. And while I'm doing the puzzle I'm thinking two things: 1. Maggie is unbelievabely cute, and 2. That one scene in the book I'm writing isn't working. I wonder how I can fix it...