MONDAY NOTE: I'm discontinuing my Monday Colorado Author Feature in 2010. Any discussion of authors or their books will be as intermittent and random as the other topics I choose on the fly.
Why am I doing this? Why do I stop reading great novels, trudge off to my computer, and try to write one instead? No matter how many times I read a blog post or an essay** that poses this question, I still don't get it. I don't understand why I've always wanted to write. I don't understand why I'm willing to keep writing even though I now have more unpublished manuscripts than published novels. I don't understand why I feel anxious and guilty when I'm not writing.
**George Orwell's essay, Why I Write, comes to mind.
Last week I read two Harlan Coben suspense novels. I'm writing a suspense novel. All the way through Coben's books, as I kept turning the pages, captivated by the unexpected twists and turns, the tension, I kept asking myself, "Are my characters as interesting as Coben's? Is my pacing as good? Is my plot as intriguing?"
Now that I'm finished with my holiday reading binge, I'm back at my computer, taking another look at my own work, wondering if Mr. Coben would think my writing pretty good . . . or promising . . . or just pure crap. I'm taking a deep breath and forging ahead, determined to get this first draft finished (the one I'd hoped to finish by December 31st). The revision process will start soon, and the critical self-editing phase. I have a ways to go before I can submit this manuscript to agents or editors.
So, really. Why am I doing this?
I'm doing it because, no matter how hard I try, I can't make myself stop.