Procrastination Station took me to Reddit today (as it often does), where I came across a 2-week old AMA (a Q&A sort of thing where anyone can ask the poster of the thread anything) by R. L. Stine, whose books I’m sure have kept many of you up at night on more than one occasion, and one person was asking him about his writing process.
24 BOOKS IN ONE YEAR? Holy crap. Okay, so Goosebumps and Fear Street books aren’t that lengthy, but it is still amazing to me that one can be so productive with their writing and keep up a constant stream of ideas. The last book I finished writing was 2 years ago. Last year I only was able to squeeze out 15 thousand words. I just… wow.
Another similar writer is Brandon Sanderson, who manages to publish at least two tomes every year, and almost never lets a day pass without writing at least a thousand words. He constantly shares his progress with his readers, and he’s always working on more than one project. He published one book in October, then published its sequel a couple of weeks ago (and these two books are each 400+ pages).
Do I have writer’s envy? Maybe. Possibly. Okay, definitely. I would love to be able to tell myself that I’m going to write 1000 words today and actually do it. But most of the time my well of creative juices feels completely dried up, and words on screen seem like an intelligible mess of crap I would not want anyone to see. It doesn’t help that I tend to shred ideas to pieces even before I begin working on them. I can find so many faults and loopholes in a plot, and give up on it before even giving it the chance to show me its hidden potential.
I really, really want to publish something this year. It has been so long and I crave the feeling of having someone read my words. I am actively trying to edit The Muse Bunny, but the biggest chunk of this book was written in 2007, and my style has developed so much since then that it’s taking me every ounce of effort not to just delete everything and write the story from scratch. For the time being, though, it holds, and I pinned up a note over my desk to remind me to do this:
But… you know, even though I try to blame my shortcomings on Writer’s Block or whatever, sometimes I just feel lazy. Or I just don’t want to write. It’s almost like, “Book, I did my part and came up with this kickass plot. Now please proceed to write yourself.” Does anyone get that feeling too? I have so many things going on in my life to be able to churn out several books a year. Between work and my semi-existent social life, and having to take care of my house and doing other things I enjoy… it just hasn’t been easy. 😦
Does anyone else struggle with this? Do you have writer’s envy?