When will your next book be finished?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is a question I get asked often by family and friends who have read my previous book and some of my short stories. It is a question I wish I could answer readily. I have to be in the mood to write. Inspiration has to be on my side. I don’t believe in writers block or a dry spell. I do believe that a writer can get lost in their details, leaving the story itself to wander around in search of purpose. I have to remind myself to work from the general into the specific. I do better to write completely first from beginning to end. Then I return to the story, honing it and making it more detailed in character development, personality, and style. Even when it is done, meaning it has a beginning, middle, and end, it may not really be done. It is not done until I give it permission to leave my hands and my mind. More often than not, my creation is waiting on me to release it.

Every writer has their own method of creation. It can be easy or painful dependent upon the writer. J.K. Rowling worked on her first story of Harry Potter for many years before actually submitting it to be read. It is like raising a child in more ways than one. You push the story from within onto the paper. You raise the character up, molding the surroundings to nurture and set up the environment to be supportive. Then life happens and your child develops its own personality that sometimes fights the writer and the inspiration. It becomes alive in the writers mind so much that it is awake at night, spilling words that do not always meet the editors final strike of the pen.

As I age, my methods morph and style changes. It becomes painful to read my earlier works and realize how many errors exist in print somewhere on a public shelf. I know the needed constructions, the different elements of good writing, and even know I will need to let the work speak for itself outside of my hands. “It will be finished soon,” I say. Knowing that it will not.

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