I search for doughnut recipes…

When I first started this blog I was uncertain as to what I’d write about. A writerly blog, of course, I thought. But in what way?

Things related to writing and my experiences of this art practice/career. Try not to be too self-indulgent. Let it orbit writing somehow, the process of it, from the practical concerns to the psychological challenges, the triumphs and the disappointments. The sharing of some of the things that have helped me continue. Technical matters connected to craft. All sorts of things! And, the odd ‘personal rant’ (yes, self-indulgent, but I hope I can be forgiven)….

People talk about “the writer’s life”, and I’m often bemused, because most of the time I’m in the midst of a book-length project, I’m not particularly social, I’m often worried about finances, and extremely stressed out about deadlines and my own capacity to somehow pull it off again. When some non-writers say, “the writer’s life”, it is inflected with a kind of longing, as if it might be glamorous or exciting. There are brief snatches of excitement, of course. And, there can be a lot of international travel, which is also a great privilege, especially if you wouldn’t have the capacity to make those journeys, otherwise. But for most writers these trips are few and far between, and, if one is not careful, the entire trip consists of hotels and conference rooms and airports, and you’ve seen nothing of the city, the communities, the history of some far-off place…. (It’s important to schedule time to interact with the city and people outside of your professional life, in order for the trip to be more than just a work-stop.)

Here is a true-life snapshot of this writer’s life:

Wake up from nightmare where I had been searching, for hours, for a thesis I’d written and I had to present, in order to graduate. I’m repeatedly rummaging through my desk in front of the entire class, opening manila files, rifling through pages, for a thesis I KNOW I’ve written, but I cannot find. The instructor and other students growing more and more impatient, as my anxiety and shame grow…. >__< . Fix self with cup of extra strong sweet coffee.

I’m on page 287 of Darkness, and I’d given myself a self-imposed delivery date of TOMORROW, to get the manuscript to my agent, so she can provide me with feedback so I have time enough to revise it before submission to my editor. Sometimes I’ve not blogged about how much I haven’t been able to write, in case my editor looks at my blog (HULLO– she has her own deadlines going on– she is not going to be checking up on me by reading my blog!!!!) and thinks I’m a deadbeat writer. >__< Likewise, concerns that my agent will think I’m unprofessional and will dump me. (I have this impression that it’s more difficult to find and retain an agent in Canada than it is to place your first book….)

Of course, all of this means I need to look up doughnut recipes! one that I have all the ingredients for, so I can make some, becauseI suddenly crave them (I can’t even remember the last time I bought a doughnut. I mean, I don’t crave doughnuts. Ever.) <weak smile>

For this writer, a lot of the struggles in finishing book projects are psychological. I still, somehow, get them done. But I can’t say it grows any easier.

There are other deadlines, too. The BC Arts grant deadline coming up Sept 15th. Need to submit minor tweak edits for upcoming paperback edition of Half World. And get to the public library newspaper archives to search for a citation I wrote in a paper for a conference. The online link has faded, and I need to track down a hard copy….

So– make doughnuts or keep on writing? @_@