What do you think about when you’re writing? 4

I saw this coming…

It’s easy to make entries in this public journal (A.K.A. Blog) when your flying around the country meeting people, speaking, and snapping photos.  It’s a bit more challenging to come up with things to say when you’re in your cave all day writing, because every writing day is pretty much the same.  Wake up, drink coffee, write…  Over and over again.

I had a teacher write me last year saying that she had a student who was interested in becoming an author.  She wanted to know if he could spend the day with me at the farm and “watch me write.”  I passed.  First, I wouldn’t be comfortable with anyone watching me write.  Second, he wouldn’t learn anything watching me write. Third, he would be bored out of his mind within an hour of watching me write and probably decide not to become an author.

Writing is not a spectator sport. Watching someone write for a day would like be watching someone dream for a night.

“What do you think about when you’re writing?”

I’ve probably had this question asked 50 times in the past few years at school visits.  It’s a sincere question, which I don’t really know the answer to, and therefore I always stumble over the reply.  The simple answer is that I’m thinking about the story, but it’s a lot more complicated than that…

When the writing is going well I’m thinking about the characters, plot, words, sentence structure, rhythm, tempo, foreshadowing, conflict…etc.

When the writing is going badly I’m thinking about lunch, dinner, friends, family, upcoming travel, email, publishing…etc.

On any given day the writing goes well and badly.  It alternates between these two states throughout the day.  The trick is to spendJ and E more time on the well side at the end of the day than on the bad side.

I think people sometimes confuse the process of writing a book with the act of reading a book.  Writing a book is a process, not an act.  An author’s job is to make it look like an act when you read the book.

Okay… I’m including the photo to the right because we’re heading up to Niki and Derek’s tomorrow to hang out with these two little brutes.

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4 thoughts on “What do you think about when you’re writing?

  • Michaela McCants

    I’m planning to read all of you r bools becaus the first one I read had me hooked.Elephent Run and Peak are the only two I’ve read so far. I finished both of them in a week.I’m working on Zack’s Lie so far I love it.

    Michaela McCants

    please email bak at mccantsbrat2@tds.net

  • Greg Smith

    Happy Thanksgiving Roland! Brenda and I hope you guys have an awesome day as you reflect on the many blessings that have and do enrich your life. With respect to what to write when your off the road, perhaps you could discuss this awesome singer you met in Missouri! LOL. take care.

    Greg and Brenda Smith

  • roland Post author

    Happy Thanksgiving back at you Brenda and Greg. You are a wonderful singer. I’m going to try to upload a tune or two on this page closer to Christmas…if I can figure out how to do it.

  • Michaela McCants

    During sring break can you come down to monckscorner sc to do a book signing.if so see you there.