posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Way back in May, 2008 when the Casa blog was first started, I introduced myself by saying that I'd been writing for just about as long as I could remember. I wrote in a lot of different venues with varying degrees of success, but one thing was certain, if I wasn't writing I always felt like something was missing. But thanx to my muse Ms. Crankypants (to learn more about her, see my guest post tomorrow on Sia's Thoughts Over Coffee : http://siamckye.blogspot.com/), I usually found something to write about.
My muse always threw interesting characters, situations, and settings my way. When I sat down to write, if the words were flowing, it was thanks to Ms. Crankypants. If not... well, she does tend to be a bit temperamental sometimes.
Over the years and the different writing projects, I've learned to trust my muse and my process. And mostly that process is to just keep showing up! I know, I know, that sounds terribly boring, and not romantic at all. But the plain truth is that (at least for me) writing a book is hard work. If I dilly-dallied around and waited for inspiration, or my characters to speak to me, or whatever, I don't think I'd ever finish anything.
It has taken me awhile, but I have finally learned that consistency is the key. If I show up every day at the same time and place, my muse and I are both prepped and ready. My characters talk to me, my plot rolls along at a decent pace, and the words (and pages) keep growing.
If only that were all that was required, but of course, it's not. Around ten years ago, I made the momentous discovery that I really NEEDED to write. I admitted to myself that I was not a truly happy camper if I didn't have a creative writing project going. Unfortunately, with the need to write comes that other necessity -- readers!
My DH (the artist) and I have had many a discussion on this topic. A story is not like a painting or a sculpture, which is finished when the artists determines it is, and it needs no audience. A story is meant to be read. And if I thought writing a book was hard work, finding readers proved much more difficult! In fact, I'm still actively engaged in the quest.
Back in Spring 2008 I was on the verge of seeing my first book in print, and a lot has happened since then. I know now that writing a good book is only the beginning, and that once the book leaves my hands there are so many things that are beyond my control. But I've traveled this far on my journey, and I'm not about to stop. Knowing that I have gained some readers who enjoy my stories makes the quest worthwhile!
Besides, my grouchy muse isn't always uncooperative. She still tempts me with story ideas and fascinating characters, that I can't wait to share. Ms. Crankypants and I intend to keep rolling along for a good long while.
So tell me some of the things you have discovered that are worth pursuing. Did you have anyone to help you in your quest? A DH, a BFF, or a cranky muse, perhaps?
P.S. Since I have no more books contracted with Sourcebooks Casablanca, this is my last post on this blog. You can still find me online at my personal blog Aunty Cindy Explains It All (http://www.auntycindy.blogspot.com/ ) and my group blog Romance Bandits (http://romancebandits.blogspot.com/ ).
My three books, The Wild Sight, The Treasures of Venice (just named a finalist for the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award) and The Wild Irish Sea should all be available at your local bookstore or from Amazon.