Start at the Beginning

Notes from the Writing Life

The Act of Writing

Therese Walsh just interviewed me for her blog, Writer Unboxed, about the process of writing my novel The Wishing Box. The first half of the interview is up now; the second half of the interview will be posted on Friday and will cover children's books and other genres. I've published three books since that first novel, with a fourth on the way, and so it was interesting to go back and think about how my writing process has changed since then. As I told Therese: 

"I keep hoping I’ll find a more efficient way to work, but so far I’ve found no good substitute for generating a whole lot of words and deciding later which of them I want to keep."

One thing that occurred to me as I read over the interview was that writing never gets easier exactly, but it does get easier to tolerate how difficult it is. Now that I have five books behind me, along with hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles (not to mention a large cache of unpublished work), I have a lot more confidence that if I keep writing, I'll eventually find a way out of whatever thicket I've managed to get myself into. I've also learned that subtraction is a wonderful thing. While I'm always tempted to add more material to whatever I'm working on, at some point I'm forced to start cutting. And when I do, I am struck with wonder at how much clarity and beauty emerges simply by removing the clutter of extra words, ideas, sentences, and digressions. 

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