So, I’ve finished my newest novel and realized after a conversation I had last evening that if it’s successful the first thing someone is probably going to say is, “So what are you doing next?” It’s kind of a weird thing I think most writers face, the “What’s next on your list?” question.
Oh well. So, even though I just finished the long process of writing a novel (and, believe me, it’s a long process), the pressure’s on, so I’d better start figuring it out. And, of course, if the novel flops, then I’ll be the one asking myself what I have next on my list? Sort-of an act of vindication, I suppose.
I like writing fiction, once I get going. It’s just that “get going” part that always gets in the way, so to speak. Most writers, by nature, procrastinate with their writing because it’s such a draining experience. You pour everything into the process of bringing your characters and place to life.
“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay,” Southern writer Flannery O’Connor once said.
Flannery O’Connor in 1947
“I'm always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it's very shocking to the system.” Despite those words, she still – like all those who gravitate toward creative writing – plunged in head first.
I think most writers wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, about that next novel...
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