A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Willamette Writers Conference. For giving of myself for a few hours a day, the rewards I got back were huge. Not only did I get to network with some great authors (published and unpublished) and connect with a new writers group, but I also got to be a part of the behind the scenes madness.
Stuffing folders and delivering cookies- and let’s not forget the mad dash to make a gabillion copies of a handout- may not seem like exciting things, but it’s the stuff that goes into the process of making an even memorable.
We see this give and take through life. It’s the space between breaths, that hovering moment right before dawn or before the tides turn.
When writing my last novel, Write Them Dead (shameless plug: Now Available on Amazon), there were times when I got frustrated with the process. When I felt under or overwhelmed by the list of things that go into writing a book that have nothing to do with putting words on a page. Research can be a huge factor in a book, yet such a small percentage of the knowledge you gain might actually make it into the story. Still, it’s important for the author to know these details, so that when they impart them on the reader, it happens so seamlessly that the reader is none the wiser. Or searching for a book cover. Or doing the dishes because all the coffee-fueled writing sessions have left me without a clean mug.
The writing life sure is something spectacular. It can be lonely or lively, depending on if I’m spending stretches of time pounding away at the keyboard or meeting up with other writers at a Bards and Brews event. It can be exhilarating, exhausting, hopeful and soul crushing in the span of days. Sometimes minutes, if you haven’t learned the all-important lesson of saving your work every time you inhale.
I’m writing this post a week after my ebook was published on Amazon and as I’m in the midst of my next novel. This time around, I’m determined to be fully present in each moment and step of the process. If you haven’t already made that promise to yourself, I ask that you join me. I also encourage you to volunteer with the writing community (or heck, an animal shelter or adopt-a-beach), whatever will help recharge your energy, reignite your passion and possibly help inspire your next book.