Here I am, slaving away at my new novel! I’m all dressed up for the writing session in my new power suit and sensible oxfords. My hair is freshly coiffed, and I’m ready to turn out 3 or 4 chapters of great work.
Actually, that’s Agatha Christie. I found that image when I googled “Writer at Work”, and on a whim, I decided to use it with my post.
I am in awe at how Agatha Christie and other writers wrote full-length novels on those little typewriters. I guess typewriters were a new invention that allowed writers to write faster and turn out more work when they progressed from pen and paper.
I see what appears to be an outline, or notes that Christie is working from. See how neat and organized her work space is?
Now if Agatha Christie and others could write best-sellers on a manual typewriter, why can’t I just finish a novel, for Heaven sakes? I’ve got a decent computer, a comfortable room with sunlight streaming through the window, a ceiling fan, and warmth or coolness at the ready, thanks to an efficiently operating central Heat/AC unit. I have a choice of hot or cold beverages, and plenty of snacks. Sweet or salty. And a purring, sleeping cat at my feet. What else do I need?
My writing attire is usually my pj’s, and I’m barefoot. If I’m dressed, I’m wearing jeans and a tee shirt and athletic shoes. My hair is brushed. Or nah. My short grey ‘do is unruly, and if you know who the singer Miguel is, his messy, piled-on-top hair style is what mine looks like when I get up. My hair tends to look wild and pompador-ish ’til I tame it with water, gel, and hairspray.
An Agatha Christie I am not, but I have been doing some serious thinking concerning my writing and going in a different direction. The little cozy mysteries I write and the light, sweet romances are not marketable. Several have been published online, but I haven’t made any money. And folks, I’d like to sell my writing. I’d like to be paid, but as I’ve lamented before, the paying markets are few.
I’ve had friends ask, “Why don’t you write a novel?” and I’ve always answered, “I’m not a novelist. I don’t think I can write a book.” And that’s an honest answer. I don’t know if I have the patience or if I can come up with enough words. I’m a “tight” writer. I don’t know if I can pile on the dialogue and the details and the back story and the conflict and all the rest.
I’m at a crossroads. I am taking some online classes, and the first assignment deals with Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. I am lost. However, I did manage to write what I’m calling the first chapter in a novel. It doesn’t stand alone. I’ll have to keep going. I did the best I could, polished and tweaked and worried and fretted for a few days, and finally, hit that Send button. The first chapter is on its way to my instructor.
We’ll see what happens. If I’m on the right track, and if/or I can master the GMC components enough to work on a novel, I’ll keep going. Who knows? I just may finish that book I’ve started. For motivation, I’ll think of Agatha Christie and her little black typewriter.