K is for Knowing When to Write
I've been lucky enough to be exposed to some pretty great writers. I look at this room, which is in Pacific Grove, California, and just sitting here in this restaurant makes me want to write. I came upon this place on the trip down the night before to hear my friend, Tina Folsom, speak to the Monterey chapter of RWA. On the trip down, driving through row upon row of recently harvested fields of broccoli and cabbage, the air was thick with that smell. If you've harvested a cabbage from your own garden, you know that smell. I used it in the prequel story I was finishing, SEAL Endeavor, which was the companion to Fallen SEAL Legacy. My characters go to Monterey to visit the aquarium, on their way to look at a drone in Silicon Valley.
I also got the idea for another romance, not in the series I've written so far, and got inspired to do a couple chapters towards that one I'll finish some time this year. A just for fun tale about a second chance romance with older lovers.
My friend Susan Speers recommended a book to me, Steal Like An Artist, and in this book it talks about all kinds of ways we get inspiration. It is true, no story is ever written in a vacuum. It is one of the reasons why I decided to go ahead and go to the RT Convention this year, when my rational brain says I need to get this book finished, and have too many other things to do. I've decided I cannot afford not to. I need the time with my peers, to be inspired, to share stories and methods, and just hear the hope and fun that comes from a gathering of writers. Despite any of the bad news recently, when writers get together, it generally is a wonderful time. And you never can beat the stories.
So, when do we write? Every day. It is the sort of discipline that separates us from the hobby writers. Anyone can write, should write, has something to say. Writing helps us heal. Helps us get in touch with other readers and writers. But if writing is a profession and not an occasional thing taken on by whim, it should be done every day. The knife has to remain sharp.
Like in my SEALs, they train every day. They train even though they may not be deployed for six months or more. They train like they're going overseas next week. That's how you prepare.
Writing is the same. Who knows when this day would produce a character that you need, some secondary character who could take over and become the hero or heroine in the next book? I love it when that happens.
But again, that doesn't happen unless we write every day. Some days it is a blog. Most days, it is a chapter or two. And that's what makes it a profession. It becomes our mission. The more we do it, the better we get.
So when do we write? All the time. Every day.
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