These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back at the novel

After three weeks, I'm back at writing my novel. It's hard to get started again, sort of like trying to jump start a car with a low battery.
Despite stopping the writing process, I needed the time off. That first week off, we went back to south Texas to attend my dad's emergency surgery after being told a portion of his colon had to be removed due to a cancerous tumor (in addition to four to five masses in his liver). That week, of course, I did no writing because I had no computer and plus my attention was on my father and his week-long hospital stay.
The following week after returning, my body and mind were exhausted. It took days for my legs to get unused to being in a 90-degree angle by sitting in a car for the 1,500 mile trip there and back and the 150 mile daily trips to the hospital. We arrived on a Sunday night and it was back to work Monday afternoon. Good thing I didn't have to work early that day.
What excuse do I have for lack of writing for the third week? I have none. Sometimes it's much easier to sit back and not think about the looming demon that's the book. It's easy to avoid sitting down for an hour or so and doing some writing. It's easy to pop in a DVD movie and watch it or be lazy. I write every day at work and maybe at times I think that that work suffices.
But this weekend my wife asked me when I was getting back to the book. I told her it wasn't far from my thoughts and I had to sit down and start up again.
And so I did. I only wrote one single-spaced page but it will have to do for now. I need to get my rhythm back. If only I could whip the words out as easily as I can some of the stuff I write for the paper. But it's a different process.
Sometimes I despair that all the work is for not. My greatest fear (writing-wise) is that I finish it, satisfied with it, send it off, and no one picks it up. But I guess that's a reality I must face.


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