About this blog...

Here you will find information, musings, and pictures about life, the natural world and writing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A writer's cycles

Hello? Are you there? I'm back! My blog has been dead quiet for weeks due to the natural rhythms of a writer's life. Here's how it works:

1. New book is in production. Blogging is fun because there's lots to write about and  time to write it. The manuscript is turned in, the old project is winding down, and attention turns to new ideas and new projects. It's time to take an interest in the outside world, to share, to write something, anything, other than that wretched novel that took up 100% of the brain-space for months.

2. New book comes out. Awk! No more meandering! It's all about promotion. Blogging is now required! Blog about the book, topics related to the book, events past and future to promote the book, kind reviews of the book, national news relevant to the book, how the dog liked the book, etc.

3. Writer settles into a new project. Time again for an outline, research, initial drafts. Can't draft a novel eight hours a day, the brain won't take it. So there's still time and ideas for blogging. Blog about the research, the agony of outlines, the anxiety of pacing, the angst of characters, and, oh, keep on with promoting the most recent book.

4. Yeepers! That new novel is due. Forget blogging. Enter the Blog Cone of Silence. Days, weeks, months go by... Writer might be dead, for all you know. Writer may wish she were dead. Beneath the silent sea, passion, sweat, doubts, and tears heave and roil.

5. Writer turns in manuscript and falls into a sodden heap. Wanders about in a daze. Wonders why mail is stacked up, full of second notices on bills. All the laundry is dirty. Friends and relatives are feeling neglected and are bitter about it. Dog has bonded with spouse exclusively, assuming spouse hasn't moved out and filed papers. Why is there no food in this house?

6. Go to Step 1.

Don't you think you should learn to manage your time better??


jennymilch said...

The life cycle of a book. Great post, Ann. Glad you've come up for air! So..when *is* your next one gonna be out??

Ann Littlewood said...

Funny you should ask! "Endangered" is due out in July, from Poisoned Pen Press. Iris Oakley, intrepid zoo keeper, confronts drug dealers, animal smugglers, and, yes, a murderer. A pair of blue and gold macaws play a crucial role.

Ellis Vidler said...

Funny and true! I laughed as I recognized the cycles. Good post, Ann. I tweeted it.

Kathleen Delaney said...

Loved your blog, and its oh so true. Funny, but true. So I won't worry about ignoring my blog for a little while longer, at lest until I get thie plot figured out. What kind of bird is that in the picture? Beautiful.
Kathleen Delaney
And Murder for Dessert
Murder Half-Baked

Ann Littlewood said...

Kathleen, The bird is a Great White Pelican at Artis, the Amsterdam zoo. They are HUGE and their beaks are so colorful that I couldn't resist taking dozens of photos.

Ellis, thanks for sharing this post.

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