Michelle Gable, Writer

Michelle Gable, Writer

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On (Not) Writing

July 19, 2013 , , , ,


Stephen King’s book “On Writing” is the gold standard for how-to-write motivation, instruction, and general commentary (though it must be said I found Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” just as helpful and inspiring). I don’t have the chops or the experience to fill an entire book with writing insight but, lately, I could surely publish if not a book at least a Tweet about Not Writing.

This is rare for me. I am a butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard kind of gal. Though it is sometimes hard excruciating painful  to merely open the damned file (by the by, I recently switched from Word to Scrivener and I absolutely love it), once I’m in, I’m in, and can tear across the pages like I’m trying to hurt someone. This is why my husband accuses me of being an “aggressive typer.” Fast words don’t mean good words but some words are required to start. So I’m okay with whatever comes out.

I am itchy and cranky when I’m not writing every day but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Maybe I worked a sixteen hour day. Maybe I’m waiting  for feedback from someone (readers, agent, editor) or perhaps I’m traveling for work. The work travel surprises me every time. I always have grand plans for productivity (planes! uninterrupted hotel time!) but the reality is when you’re talking investor relations I’m lucky to eat and/or sleep when traveling. To wit, in March I had meetings in Zurich, Paris, and Frankfurt in one day. And lest you think that sounds glamorous, I didn’t even get to eat anything in Paris, which is plain wrong. I had a similar Atlanta-Tampa-Delaware one day slog and no one would mistake that for glamour. I will say this, however. For all my efforts, I’ve turned into an efficient packer as well as an excellent wearer of high heels for 20 hours straight. I will also eat anything that’s offered at any time.

Regardless, even at my busiest, I never go more than 4-5 days without cranking out my customary 1,000+ words/day or without doing some sort of writing-related research. Until now. Work is busy as it is earnings season but not as busy as it could be because we’re in a “quiet period” thus no travel. Plus my daughters’ All Stars season is over, so no more viewing seven girls fastpitch softball games in one weekend. (Though I’ve been known to bring manuscripts to the field!)

So why no writing? Well, I’m currently in a waiting period, due to get comments back from my editor any day (oh, please, tomorrow!) I could work on the manuscript I was finishing right before I got my book deal, but the story is so different in tone, characters, and even time period I worry that if I was mired in that for any length of time and then had to switch back to APRIL, everything would get all mucked up and suddenly April in Paris would be inexplicably filled with surly sorority girls. That’s what I tell myself anyway. Perhaps it’s only an excuse. Writers are GREAT with excuses.

birdbybirdYou’d think that with all this waiting I’d have ample time to crank out a blog post or two. But it’s been more than a week since I last posted, woefully undershooting my “3 posts per week” goal. Here’s the thing, though, with writing. You have to actually be writing to feel like writing. At least I do. Once I get out of the habit, it’s like it all goes to hell. I can barely Tweet I’m so uninspired. A friend actually told me she can tell when I’m in the middle of a manuscript because my Facebook posts are better.

So tonight I’m going to crack open some research, maybe write a few chapters of something, anything. I need to get back in the habit. If nothing else, I’ll be ready to go when I finally get my edits.

What do you think?

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