Friday, June 30, 2006

Writing for fun? The fun of writing?

Susan Sizemore here. Friday is my day to post, and I need to think of something scintillating to say. Hmmm… Let’s see. Well, I am 21 pages into the sixth book in the vampire Primes series. I’m having way too much fun with it. I think there may be a tad too much plot what with the vampires, werewolves and neo-nazis running around the pages of this tome (not to mention the flashbacks), but I’m in the mood for writing a big book. Perhaps I shall keep a writing diary here to discuss the whole process of writing. I’m always happy to discuss writing.

Discussing the process is one form of what we writers refer to as “Writing avoidance technique”. You see, we love writing, we need to write, but we also fear it. So we find valid excuses to avoid actually working as long as possible. The fear of screwing up is always present.

In fact, every time I start a writing project I go through this panicky, “What ever made me think I could write a book? I can’t write a whole book! What was I thinking? I can’t do this! Aaaagghhh!!” stage that is totally silly, but necessary to work through to get to the, “Oh, shut up and write the thing” stage.

I am now in the “This is fun getting to know the characters” stage of work on Primal Desire. The problem at the moment is now that I’m in the mood for writing, finding time to write in the next couple of weeks is going to be problematic – what with company coming and a science fiction convention to attend and the 4th of July –

Oh, dear, there I go again, finding more “writing avoidance technique”. Don’t worry. I’ll make the time to write. I always do. I’ll keep you informed of my progress.

alien romances


  1. Hi, Susan! I was highly impressed by I HUNGER FOR YOU, I THIRST FOR YOU, and I BURN FOR YOU, since the "vampire as alien" is my own favorite type. I certainly can identify with "writing avoidance." In my case it takes the form of getting all the other chores out of the way first. They always take longer than expected, so that by the time I finally get to the day's writing, it's already well into the afternoon. And when I really hit a rhythm, before I know it, it's time to stop and feed people or animals or some silly thing like that. I envy you if you love to write. I love to outline and prewrite. (Just call me weird.) I don't mind line editing and proofreading. But the act of writing the text itself is slow and tortuous for me. It must be nice to be a writer who actually enjoys writing, as Isaac Asimov said he did. When I first started, at the age of 13, I enjoyed the writing itself. Now I think part of the problem is knowing too much -- awareness of technique and style leading to the fear, as you mentioned, that I can't possibly do a decent job.

  2. Oh I totally agree with the avoidance thing. I also think its a woman issue. We can't take of our selves until we're sure everyone else is happy. Of course my biggest problem is the deadline. Nothing saps my creative juices more than knowing I have to have a book done by a certain date. But that just might also be part of the avoidance thing.

  3. I have been thinking more about the avoidance topic, and I've decided that in some ways writing actually is like an addiction for me -- from what I've read (and seen in alcoholics) about addiction. I can't not write. If I go too long without doing it, I feel bad. Yet I don't exactly enjoy the act of writing, as I mentioned above. (On good days, once I get deep into it, I can enjoy it for a while.) Right after I've done it, though, I feel really good.

  4. Hi, Susan,

    Does your editor allow you carte blanche when it comes to page count?

    If you write a big book, will you then have to cut it beyond what is funny?

    I fell into that dilemma not so long ago. I relied on being allowed 100,000 words, and discovered (more than half way through) that my publisher's target is now 80,000 words.

    Good luck, and do keep us posted.