Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Obsession

Writers are obsessive people. Steven Saylor said, "Writing a first novel takes so much effort with such little promise of result or reward, that it must necessarily be a labor of love bordering on madness." I would add that writing a second novel, with the full knowledge that writing the first one was even harder than you'd feared is probably a sign of a completely deranged mind. By the third novel though, I imagine most people are starting to feel more at home obsessing about their novel than not. 

I know I am. Yesterday I finished Ana's rough draft of Pyromancy...

(Long pause for applause. Oh, please, standing Ovations. Not yet. Well. If you must...) This reminds me that O is also for Oreo milkshakes, which I promised myself once I finished. 

As I was saying, yesterday I finished Ana's part of Pyromancy--and I'll tell you, I spent the rest of the day having no idea what to think about. In the past few months I have begun dreaming Ana's dreams, thinking Ana's thoughts. Sometimes I even forget I could not run a marathon on a beach and then hurry off to my boxing class. (Snort.) It's obsession, pure and simple, and I don't know how to write a novel any other way. I wish I did. I'm a big believer in balance. But somehow balance and novel writing have never gone hand in hand in my life.

And I'm not alone. is a website devoted to this kind of obsession. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

You know you're a writer when...
  • your mood depends on what's going on in your story.
  • you forget your real life for your fictional world.
  • you know your characters better than yourself.
  • you sit down to write for half an hour and before you know it 5 hours have gone by.
  • you shut down your computer and get into bed, only to think of something that you have to write down, so you get out of bed and start your computer up again.
Which reminds me of one of my own. You know you're a writer when...
  • you're trying to write a grocery list, but every scrap of paper you can find is filled with random snippets of dialogue or beautifully worded phrases that make no sense at all out of context.

1 comment:

  1. Love this, Melanie!! So true! I especially love the "you know you're a writer when..." I have something similar on my blog under "Writer Experiences". The one about shutting down your computer and getting into bed only to be bombarded with another thought, scene, or dialogue is so true! Happens ALL the time! :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! So glad I found you in this big, beautiful blogosphere!