A Writer's Life

The key to a writer's life is this: always write.

I may be working a bit slow on my novel. I may be having a significant writer's block. I may want to take a break. But the fact is, I make sure I write every day, whether it's an opinion, an essay, scribbling on the novel, short stories. My novel is slogging along slowly, but in the past few months I've written half a dozen or so short stories, some of them polished to publication quality. I can't say I've been lazy (okay, perhaps I'm not hardworking enough -- but I have a life, you know?)

I have no idea what to do with these pieces. I'll probably try to get some of them published, but that's not high priority. I guess right now I can't focus on one story and one story only, and my brain needs an outlet for all my ideas -- I'm getting restless and unfocused. I realize it's a process, and my process is telling me now to work on all these little ideas now, then come back later to polish them.

The key is: keep writing. I'd like to get my novel back on track, but I also know me too well. If I push too hard, it will feel like "work" and I will burn out quickly. I know I need to be careful about that. There are people like Stephen King who writes 8 hours every day and pump out three novels a year. There are people like Charles Fraser who wrote two novels in 10 years. The most important thing for a writer is "know who you are." There's no prescribed recipes or rules on how to become a successful writer.

Except one.

We must write.


ORION said…
Aloha Ray!
Just got back from New York -- a short stop over in Seattle and back to Hawaii.
I SO understand this post. I am having trouble concentrating on editing book 2...you just have to keep on keeping on!
Art_Journaler said…
Writer's block has been holding my creativity hostage for . . . hmmm . . . too long. It's frustrating but, like you, I've been trying to keep on keepin' on. :-)
Ray Wong said…
Yeah, writer's blocks is a bitch, but we just need to keep going on. And Pat, I too had a huge problem with writing the WIP once The Pacific Between came out... I just couldn't concentrate. But now everything has calmed down, I think it's time to really get it going... We'll see.
Lori said…
I'm glad to hear you're writing, Ray. I can't wait to read some new stuff.
Kanani said…
Hi Ray,
My writers' group ( The WPspoke to Playwright Jose Rivera, who said that writer's block means that there's something wrong with your piece. You can't go on until you find out what it is and fix it. Does it resonate with you?

Just stay true to yourself, and you'll be fine.

Kathy said…
Interesting and very helpful.

I think about that, too. King is very prolific, but someone like Thomas Harris only writes here and there.

But I'm looking forward to reading your next novel, Ray.
Ray Wong said…
Thanks! I wrote about 800 words today on the WIP. Not a lot, but not bad either.

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