If Walls Could Talk: Writing Aspirations

M.H. Norris

I think, to an extent, authors start writing with a certain bit of disillusionment when it comes to this field we are in love with.  Even I have seemed to fall prey to that even though I knew that it takes several years to get established in the field.

Lately, I’ve felt like it’s hard being the jack-of-many-trades that your favorite mystery maven and sci-fi sorceress has found herself being. Not that I don’t love doing it all. I just wonder how I seem to do it all.

If walls could talk, they would wonder how I seemed to be able multi-task so much better than I do these days.

‘Cause, I don’t know.

That and a case of writer’s block.

And it’s not that I’m not writing. It’s that I haven’t been writing the first Rosella novel. Columns, podcast prep, forewords, writer’s notes, and acknowledgements are taking up my processor’s time.

How do people do it all? Write, manage multiple projects, and hold a day job. I don’t understand sometimes how people seem to juggle it all.

And I feel like I used to do it better than these days.

I even try to put things on certain days. Work on this this day (for example, I almost always write this column on Tuesdays, and it goes up the next day) and work on that another day. The Time Travel Nexus’ “Television Tuesday” usually gets done on Monday (though that’s more of a I want to get as up to date news as possible).

When I wrote Badge City: Notches, I did it during a semester and that was on top of going to school full time, a part time job, the first version of this column—and all the research and everything else that comes along with writing a novel. It’s like the climax of that story, I don’t know how I managed it.

That’s been my writing issue of the week, or rather the last few weeks. Managing to do everything like I used to.

And figuring out how people seem to do it these days.

It’s not that I’m complaining and I’m not going to drop a project (after all, there’s reasons I picked them all up). It’s more I’ve got to figure out how I can do it all and still have time to tell my own stories.

Cause after all, isn’t that why I started writing in the first place?

I’ve been writing short stories for years now. More or less since I realized that books were made by forming a bunch of sentences together to make them. It would be college before I realized that maybe this hobby of mine would become more than a hobby.

At first I thought I’d be like JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, and have a bestseller out of the gate.

Then, I realized that it would take time.

How much time?

There’s no straight answer for that.

I’ve heard people talk about how if you are in this business for the money, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. But, one can’t help but dream of a day where you can support yourself on nothing but writing.

My first short story came out about four and a half years ago. Now, I have four short stories out, two books, another short story on the way, and All the Petty Myths is out soon. Then Rosella makes her full-length debut.

Is it wrong to have aspirations when it comes to writing?

This is one of my deeper “If Walls Could Talk” and I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about what it takes to make it in this business.

The only way someone makes it in this business is if they are willing to spend years dedicated to this craft. It requires a lot of time dedicated to writing for it to happen.

Stephen King says he writes every day, and in On Writing he suggests writers do the same. I’ll be honest, I don’t write every single day.

And what did he mean by that. Did he mean, if you are a fiction writer you need to write in your book every day?

What about columns and podcast prep and notes on research?

Becoming successful in this business means you have to be ready and willing to spend hours and weeks and months and even years working doing this and that to get your name out there. It involves times where you wonder if you’ll ever make it work.

I’m still in that stage.

My writing aspirations haven’t been met yet.

But I’ll get there someday.