Monday, June 08, 2009

Don't Bother Me. I'm Writing.

By Ali Cross

I haven’t been blogging much lately on my personal blog, and you might have noticed that I didn’t blog here last week either. I haven’t been sick and I haven’t been out of town. But why haven’t I been blogging? Because I’ve been writing.

My world has been drawn down into a small little bubble filled with my words and characters—everything else has felt . . . somehow less real.

Non-writers might find such an admission startling. But writers know. You get what I’m saying. Every one of you would smile encouragingly and express happiness for me that I’ve been “in the zone.” We all live for times like that. Times when the writing comes so easily it’s like living a dream.

This recent experience has taught me something about myself. Most of you will have likely already learned this lesson. It’s one we’re taught from our earliest days as writers. To be a writer, you must write. I’ve heard that we should write every day, no matter what, and the idea sounded great, but come on . . . who can really incorporate that into their daily lives?

I would put “writing” on my to-do list, but it always got relegated to the least important item and as a result, rarely got done. Blogging was usually my only form of writing, and while blogging is an excellent way to keep your writing skills fresh, it hardly propels your stories forward.

However lately, I’ve had the opportunity to submit some things to publishers and they are being well-received. Well-received means more is asked of me. It means more writing. So writing has recently been bumped up from a “C” priority in my Franklin planner, to an “A” priority, which means I’m writing every day.

So my housework is barely getting done, dinners have been the simplest I can concoct and many things I previously viewed as important are getting that measly “C” placed beside them in my planner. No longer is writing the least important thing on my list.

As a result, I am discovering the joys of writing every day.

I’ve known that joy before, but the lesson didn’t stick and I soon forgot. This time, I hope to retain what I’ve learned because the thrill of feeling my stories move forward, of living in the world I have created and through proximity, coming to know my characters and their stories intimately, is intoxicating. I never want to forget the joy daily writing brings me.

I hope my personal blog readers will forgive me for taking an hiatus of sorts because I may not be blogging much. I hope I won’t be blogging much. Because that probably means I’m hanging out with my characters, making sure their stories are told.

There ought to be a sign to hang on my office door: Don’t bother me. I’m writing.


Evelyn Curtis said...

That is awesome! It encourages me to hear of your success, and determination! Keep up the excellent work!

Nichole Giles said...

Awesome that you're moving forward with your projects. That's a wonderful feeling, and I love when that happens.



L.T. Elliot said...

I'm so happy and proud for you, Ali!! I know how well things are going and I can honestly say that you deserve it and more! I can't wait for the fabulous news that is to follow. I just know it won't be far behind!