People often ask me what is the hardest thing about writing a book. The answer is…writing.
That’s all I’ve got.
Okay, I will elaborate to increase the word count a little on this post. The hardest thing about writing is actually typing words on a blank page. For me, dreaming up the story is the fun part. The “What if this happened?” and “Why would she do that?” and “What would he say then?”. That’s fun. That is where I find the joy in creating stories. That’s what I love about my job and my critique partners are awesome at helping me hone the plot. Talking it out with another person who understands the process is awesome. I’m a verbal plotter.
Verbal stories don’t have to be spelled correctly. There’s no punctuation needed. They can be long or short. They don’t have to come in somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000 words. I love discovering the seeds of a story. I don’t like planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing, picking, cooking, canning and putting a pretty label on it. In other words, I don’t like the work. That said, I know a tomato seed will never become a delicious bowl of tangy salsa unless all the aforementioned work gets done. It is at best, only the promise of a good thing. My verbal storytelling can’t be shared the way my written stories can be shared. Like any good gardener, or writer, I put in the work so that others may enjoy the bounty of my labor.
Once I have the seed of a story, I sit down at the computer and I plant that idea onto a blank page. Day after day, I nurture it, tend it, prune it, adjust it, reread it, revise it, I do the work and make my story grow into its own reward. It is very hard work. I spend long hours typing, my fingers hurt, my eyes burn, I get headaches, but the story takes on a life of its own and it has to be told. Finishing a book takes me anywhere from two to three months.
Where does all this fun happen? My office is a corner of my bedroom.
I use a plotting board to make sure I’ve got all the points covered that make a good story.
And when I’m done, I send the manuscript to my publisher who does the canning, making sure I’ve got all the ingredients right and then finds a pretty package to put it in and POW! A book for everyone to read and enjoy.
An Amish Harvest is available now and The Amish Midwife will be in stores in October.
Happy reading everyone. My work is done.