Monday, May 26, 2008

Another New Chapter

I’ve been walking around with a low-grade depression for weeks. Now something has lifted it for me.  I think I miss writing. Everything I’ve said before this is true.  I didn’t miss it and I was feeling fine about it, enjoying myself. 

I still hate the idea of a routine. But I realized that three days a week I get up to an alarm anyway because I go to an excercise class.  This means that three nights a week I go to bed at the same time I did when writing.  That is part of the routine I was sick of.  The other part is writing itself.  Or was.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to plunge into some big project or even a small one.  The fact is, I don’t know what it means.

There are adjustments I have to make.  I have to accept that I’m not in the thick of things anymore.  It’s not twenty some years ago when I was in on starting Sisters In Crime.  I don’t have loads of writer friends.  Many of them have stopped writing (or stopped getting published) and I don’t live in NYC.  There’s a whole new crop of wonderful writers out there and it’s their turn now…as it should be. Going on book tours is a thing of the past for me.  I’m not grieving for that.  I could still go to conventions but I don’t want to.  Again, that’s really for the new kids on the block.

This is a fresh chapter for me.  I’m not sure what will be in  it, but I guess I’ll find out.  I have no illusions about this.  And I hope no delusions. 

As always, I don’t know how I got from there to here.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes we have to write just for ourselves, just because we can't NOT WRITE. It's so easy to get discouraged, especially in today's marketplace if we relate writing with actually being read by others (and most of us do!); publishing and promoting are so hard and different these days. And writing can be so isolating. Yet, I can't imagine doing anything else. Writing is in my blood (like printer's ink is in a journalist's blood) and I suspect it's in yours as well. Just write and see where it leads. Forget about book tours and marketing and tell another story, one you can't NOT TELL.

— Patricia Sheehy, author

Sandra Scoppettone said...

Thanks for your comments, Patricia. But if you'd read further you'd see that my withdrawal didn't have much to do with the marketplace. In fact, nothing. The isolation of writing has never bothered me. I like it. I can't imagine doing anything else either. I wasn't planning to...I was planning to do nothing.

Believe me I'm not thinking of book tours, etc. My not writing has been because I'm tired of doing it. Or was. We'll see.

Josephine Damian said...

Whether it's writing or blogging, this seems to to be a time of reflection and re-grouping for a lot of us.

My goal is more writing, and more friends and activities outside of writing. Balance and perspective.

Unknown said...

Sounds interesting. I shall bite my tongue and simply say I will wait to see ... (although you can't stop me hoping, especially not after that whip-crackingly good story in A Hell of a Woman!)

Unknown said...
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Jessica Ferguson said...

Most of the time what you say makes too much sense to me. I'll be sixty in July. Part of me thinks I'm really stupid for continuing to HOPE I sell another book. I look around at all of my writer friends and some of them have given up, some of them are multipubbed because they clawed their way to success. I've never CLAWED my way to anything. I've always been one who just moseyed along, stopping along the way to encourage other wannabe writers. I guess that's where my true gift is. Encouraging, teaching, informing. I really would love to sell another book one day... just one, maybe two. :) But when it comes down to it I just love the creating, no matter where it gets me.

Would you ever consider heading up your own anthology of short fiction or novellas, or whatever? I wish you'd say yes.

Would you ever consider tackling YAs again?

Sandra Scoppettone said...

Jess, I don't think you're stupid to hope you sell another book. I'm not sure HOPE can be stupid. Still, you won't if you don't write, which you seem to be doing.

I think you're asking me if I'd consider being editor of an anthology. I think you have to be asked or at the very least get a yes from a lot of writers on a particular theme and then propose it to publishers. However, my name isn't as well known as other editors. But if some publisher wants me to do it I'll say yes.

My first instinct about YAs is to say no. I had lunch the other day with a very big star in YAs. She said she wouldn't dream of trying to write a contemporary one because everything changes so fast and she doesn't know enough about kids today. I don't either. She will only write historical YAs now. I'm not interested in this so I don't know. Hate to rule anything out.

Peter said...

This is probably cold comfort (I'm a writer, too, but here goes), but I was directed through the kind offices of Powells Books to This Dame for Hire.

It is wonderful. It is just what a book should do for a reader, and even when writing must be such a chore (which it is, at times), there is still that synaptic spark where a reader is drawn into a world you have created, interacting with characters to whom you've given a life.

Well done!

For what it is worth to you, try and remember that writer/reader connection, even while you're taking a rest or whatever it is you need to do. From our side of the equation, your effort is well worth it, Sandra.

Jessica Ferguson said...

Thanks for responding, Sandra. I guess I was suggesting you come up with your own unique idea for an anthology and pitch it to an editor instead of waiting for the invitation. You have so many professesional writer friends, I know you could pull it off.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

B.P. Thanks for the kind words.

Jess, I've never pitched anything in my life. In fact, pitching something wasn't even used in publishing until recently. My screenwriter friends used it and when they told about pitching it seemed like a nightmare to me.

Thanks for all the faith you have in me. I appreciate it immensely.

Jessica Ferguson said...

Yep, face-to-face pitching is a nightmare. It makes me want to throw up.

Picks by Pat said...

I often wonder how I got from there to here as well! If I had known the obstacles when I started writing, I never would have finished the first one. So I guess I'll just keep plugging along, despite the long odds. I'm several chapters into the next book.

If you ever decide to go to a conference, I hope you'll post it here, so all your fans can get a chance to meet you in person.