|Posted on March 3, 2011 at 3:25 PM|
Experience has taught me that there are some very scary things about admitting to the world that you're a writer. Sure, these are balanced by many wonderful things, but some things leave you staring at a blank screen, frozen in terror.
That said, probably one of the first is just that: staring at a blank screen. Sometimes my head is brimming with ideas, or I wake up in the night with snappy lines of dialogue going around in my head. Yet by the time I got to the computer (or even a notebook, or a restaurant paper napkin...I'm not proud) those tricky little neurons have shut down and I CAN"T REMEMBER what I wanted to say. Terror sets in - will I ever again write anything more than a grocery list or an excuse for missing an exercise class (yeah, I do a few of them)?
Sometimes I understand completely why some writers never venture near a publisher. In fact, I know people with notebooks crammed with stories. They whisper to you, as if it were a naughty secret, that they write, but if you press them to see their work, they immediately deny ever having put pen to paper. It's the pressure to perform.
You see, once you admit to writing as something more than a hobby, then you have to come up with the goods. People know.People expect. Editors are tsk, tsk-ing about deadlines. rejection letters pop into your mailbox. You peek at your email through your fingers, testing to see if there's a contract, or a review. Either of these can bring you out of hiding a little, but then someone says the dreaded words.
"So, Glenys, when are you writing the follow up to Marrying Money? You know, about Lady Diana's best friend, Sally? I'm really looking forward to reading that."
Uhm, so am I, if I only had a clue what was going to be in it.
"Hey, I read that book you wrote, Resort to Murder! When is your next one out ?"
Wish I knew - probably when I unfreeze long enough to write it.
"My wife loved Winters & Somers. It's her birthday in six weeks - do you have another book set in Ireland? I'd really like to get it for her."
Well, actually, I do have another set in Ireland - Marrying Money. But please don't ask me when the sequel will be out. Please.
Okay, I'm joking. I love it when people ask about my books. I just wish that blank screen didn't scare me so......
Categories: The Writing Life