Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Joy of Writing..

The dynamics of being a writer have changed for me over the years.

When I first began many years ago, my first three Avalon books were written on a little blue portable typewriter. Carbon paper was messily plopped between two pieces of paper like bologna between slices of bread. The smell of white out was in the air. It took forever to pound out those pages. And even longer to do it again for the final, perfect draft. It was a thrill to hold those books in my hand. My heroines were nurses or governesses, as practically all romance heroines were in the day.

I didn’t personally know one single person who was a writer. This was the purest form of “writing in a bubble” for me. It was “me, myself and I”, and my story.

But times change. After reading a magazine for writers, I saw an ad for a writing conference. I went. There I met about 400 writers in all genres. I thought my head was going to explode with excitement. I learned about many ongoing writing groups, and made some deep friendships that I still have today. I still wrote “in the bubble”, but would emerge every few weeks to attend a writer’s group, or go to a conference, to reconnect, learn, and get inspired.

The computer, and word processing, was the next step. The act of writing, of putting words to page, became amazingly easier. I could delete, insert, copy and paste. And get rid of the carbon paper. Seeing those first white pages hum out of the printer was like magic.

This was followed by the word “email.” Right behind that came the word “loop”. Next has come Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogging. Communication is global. This is the good news and the bad news.

The good news is that I could keep in contact with my writing community daily (Hourly? Momentarily?). I can keep up with market news, research, critiquing, and the latest recipe for pumpkin soup.

The bad news is that I can keep in contact with my writing community daily (Hourly? Momentarily?). You get the idea. Technology has changed a lot of things, but not the number of hours in the day. My writing bubble has gotten a bit smaller. Keeping those pages mounting takes a lot more discipline.

Many of my books have been published in beautiful hardcover. Another will come out soon in paperback, several digital formats, and possibly audio. It’s an amazing, growing and changing industry. There is so much to learn, and to implement. Personally, though there are some moments when all the changes are scary, I think that this is an exciting time to be a writer.

The challenge for me is to embrace the changes, widen my horizons, and STILL find the time and inspiration to be “in the bubble”, writing the best story I can. How about you? How do you do this?


Beate Boeker said...

I enjoyed your post, Christine, and I think you described that feeling of "living in a bubble" so very well. I went to my first writer's conference this summer, and as you say, I was wild with joy to meet other writers for the first time in my life. The changes in life due to technology are so quick that I often wonder if I'm already obsolete the minute I learn something new. It takes a flexible mind to stay up-to-date in today's world!

Zelda Benjamin said...

I too love to be able to chat with other writers anytime or anywhere. The downside is - the more I keep up with technology the less time I seem to spend writing. If I'm not on facebook, I'm checking my email or someone's blog. It keeps me connected but I get sidetracked.

Sandy Cody said...

I agree with both previous commenters. I love being able to connect with other writers, but the internet is truly a thief of time. I constantly struggle to strike a balance.

Nice post, Christine.

Carol Hutchens said...

Great post...could smell the white-out...
I agree with the wonders of the 'net' but regret it takes away time from writing so I'm trying to 'unplug'...but backing off the connections is lonely.
Still, I love technology.