I am often asked what is like to write a novel. On this journey of the mind and soul, I have learned a variety of often painful and sometimes pleasant lessons. So I decided to share a few of my gems in case you are tempted to think about writing a book or if you are just an author looking for a little laughter!
- If you are stuck and can’t decide what to write, drink anything highly caffeinated—don’t worry about the pain in your chest after your fifth espresso, that’s just ideas being born.
- Ergonomics is for wimps. If your neck, back, wrists, and eyes don’t hurt after a long day of writing, you are doing it wrong.
- Coffee shops are your mecca. Once you accept that you are the stereotype of a writer, you can make great use of any place that has quirky people and uppers floating in the air.
- Not talking about your story until it is complete is impossible. It’s like talking about your children, sometimes you just have to share. Your friends are just going to have to accept that your life revolves around little souls and souls that exist nowhere else but in your mind (don’t worry when they call you a border-line schizophrenic, take it like a compliment).
- In your marriage, killing a character is an acceptable rule for being in a bad mood; unless it is an antagonist, which is reason for jumping around the house like a mad woman/man.
- Sickness will come to the household whenever you are nearing the end of a book deadline. Make sure to get your work done early because nothing promotes a peaceful and harmonious writing environment like the soft scents of Lysol and a child’s feverish face.
- Putting your kids to bed early because you have a revelation about your current WIP is not only acceptable but almost required as there is nothing worse than forgetting/not utilizing the muse.
- Ideas only come after all of your pens are lined North to South and your chair is tilted in an exact 10 degree angle from your computer screen (or when you are trying to go to sleep and have somewhere to be early the next morning).
- It’s normal when you are having a conversation with one of the few friends you have left (after months of being in your writing cave) that everything they say relates to something that you have written. In fact, if this is a true friend, they will love you more for it (even if they are rolling their eyes).
- Every character in your book is based on someone you know. We are creatures of habit, why create a character when you have a well-known acquaintance that (not so secretly) loves to dress in drag and only eats yellow food on Wednesdays? HELLO, character quirks!
What about you? What gems have you learned along your journey?
*Danica’s next novel, The Curse of Zeus, Book 5 of the Nymph Series will be out Fall 2015!