The main reason that writers write is that they love to write and can't imagine life without a pen in hand or keyboard close by ready to receive their most creative, poetic, literary thoughts. You would think that with two novels published and a legion of fans eagerly awaiting the third that an author would be able to tap out that next book in no time flat. Well, at least I thought that was the way it was supposed to work. Wrong! Instead, a year after the publication of my second book, "Page One: Vanished", I've just completed the outline and character sketches for the next one -- this is after completing a manuscript that I hated and to which my publisher gave a lukewarm reception. "You can do better than this."
The third book in my "Page One" Trilogy is the capstone of the series. This is when everything comes to a head for main character Robin Hamilton, when she goes in search for the person ultimately responsible for her police sergeant fiance's murder, when she begins to recover from the immobilizing grief and sets off on a new course. Maybe that's the problem -- I've put a lot of pressure on myself to get this right. I want this book to be perfect. I want the plot to move like "The Da Vinci Code", I want the characters to leap from the page like "Rebecca"; I want the reader to be able to feel the frigid, icy fingers of cold dancing along their spine as they visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula in January. That kind of writing requires work, lots and lots of work. Admittedly, my first effort wasn't completed with a lot of energy as I struggled to find the right storyline that fit the characters.
Unfortunately, I also have a "real" job that pays the mortgage, provides health insurance and takes up to 45-plus hours a week of my precious time that could be otherwise invested in writing "the perfect novel". Add in an ailing parent, maintaining that all-important love connection with the significant other and general household maintenance and there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to write "the perfect novel". So what's an author to do?
In a phrase, quit yer beefin' and get to work! That's what I've been telling myself lately every time I find myself whining about how I don't have enough time. I now approach my writing the same way I do my day job -- organized, goal-oriented and motivated. I've created an outline for a book that I now can't wait to begin writing. My character sketches make me want to meet these people in person. I can feel Robin shiver as a blizzard looms over Escanaba and sense the heat on her skin when she steps off the plane in Miami in search of a hired killer. Ouch! There's that writing bug nipping at me ... time to put pen to paper. Adieu for now ...