Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Write like Me

Yesterday my husband told me I write too slow. Ordinarily he's very understanding, but non-writers--even ones who've been in this game as long as he has--can never understand what writers go through for their craft.

What all started this tete-a-tete was when I got a newsletter from Debbie Macomber. Debbie Macomber is a force to be reckoned with in the romance writing arena. And not someone to compare yourself to because your writing will always fall short. I read in Ms. Macomber's newsletter that she had published something like 6 books last year. Another half dozen or so were re-released. When I told my husband this, he said; "You need to stop wasting time and get in there and write."

Excuse me. How does he think his laundry gets washed and put away and his dinner prepared every night? Not to mention taking the dogs to the vet and keeping my hair trimmed. All these errands happen to all of us--Debbie Macomber included--and take us away from our writing.

Non-writers don't understand that we all can't be Debbie Macomber's or Nora Roberts's. Most of us don't write at that pace. I write relatively fast (1-2) a year but I'll never keep up with some. Even at my current pace I sometimes feel like my work suffers because I'm rushing the process. Do I know my heroine? Can I relate to her? Do I even like her?

I need to learn I'll never write a book in a couple weeks like I heard Karen Kingsbury did. I probably won't even consistently publish 2 books per year like many writers. But if there's no joy in my writing--if I only experience guilt and frustration--can God be present? I don't think so.

I need to give myself permission to write like me and stop comparing myself to other writers. I bet it's safe to say they aren't laying awake nights comparing themselves to me.

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