So you can read my books

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Have you noticed that life doesn't stand in line?

It demands service ... right now.

Eric's unborn child. Sangu's visa. The riots that made Jessica's life interesting some months back. My double hernia or double muscle pulls (depending on which doctor you listen to.)

What has this to do with writing? Everything. Soon or late, you will hear a pounding on the door. Take in a breath. It will be life demanding your attention ... now!

You will have to deal with it, dropping for a moment your writing ... which will not necessarily be a bad thing.

From Mark Twain to Ernest Hemingway, authors have found it enriched their writing to put it away for a time, to not even think about it.

The mind is a funny thing :

your unconscious mind will be fiddling with your novel all the while you are dealing with life. In fact, as a writer you will be listening to the people all about you, noticing every gesture, every interpersonal exchange displayed before you.

When you get back to your novel, you will, of course, want to read all of it until the point you stopped. And the flaws in the flow of prose, the tension, the pacing ... the humanity portrayed in your novel will stand out as if highlighted.

All because your unconscious mind digested your experiences while dealing with impatient life.


  1. oh wow - i've been doing just this for 2 weeks now. working on a revision staring at the same page. but even when i'm away from it i'm thinking about it.

  2. It's a dynamic process. I both ignore and embrace my surroundings alternately, and always embrace life, in all its shades.

  3. I find that I'm often thinking about my writing somewhere in the corner of my mind; I'll be focusing on life, but it's like the story is perpetually molded into my head.

  4. I'm there right now after dealing with my mother in the hospital this past summer. Just on hold.

    And always loved that video. Think is was the first one I ever saw on MTV. You know - back when they actually played music videos.

  5. What a great point. Sometimes your mind just needs to work away in the background!

  6. I agree with Talli. Great post, Roland!

  7. Man, you read my mind, again.

    I'm just glad I didn't read yours... it kinda scares me sometimes!

    Saw a preview for Jonah Hex for On-Demand yesterday. All I could think about was Sam and the undead and how this is totally like what this guy Roland is writing, and it looks freaking awesome!

    No, life doesn't pause. You're right. Walking away helps, because when you come back, you can't help but love -- or hate -- what you wrote.

    Again, more luck with the surgery. BTDT, bro, sucks to be you. Just make sure you don't need a catheter (either cath while you're under, or get a diuretic to clear before/after surgery). God, they had to cath me FIVE times, took a urologist to finally get it in. Stupid prostate, all for a busted shoulder...

    - Eric

  8. I hear this. I may not be doing a ton of writing. I hurt myself lifting stuff in my basement and crying helped at first, then I just wanted to kill somebody, now, I'm trying to cope. Hopefully it's just a strian and after a good nights sleep I'll be good. Nothing, I'm sure, compared to what you are going through, Roland. Anyway, let's hope my mind continues to work on things.

  9. I always come back sooner than expected. Well, I guess I haven't been fully back to writing for a while. Blogfests, half started short stories, prompts from my writers group. I've been away from writing on a novel so long I'm not sure I'll be able to get back into it.

    But yeah, sometimes you gotta take a step back and re-assess. Careful you don't take too much time though.

    But I still got those ideas nagging away at my subconscious. Especially at night, trying to sleep. I'll sit up and try to jot down those fleeting ideas, only to stare at the evenly lined paper without a thought in my head.

    I guess I'm just glad there's something still brewing when I'm not paying close attention.