Caught in the Trap of Writing


Since I started writing, it seems that every day is a working day. If I’m not at the computer creating, my mind is making up stories, or I’m wondering if the guy in the next aisle at the grocery store might make a good character, or I’m listening to a conversation and trying to remember a particular way of saying something. Once we begin in this business, there is no end, no rest, no time off.

The last week of September I finished two manuscripts and sent them off to the publishers, via the Internet. Thank goodness for up-to-date publishers. No more printing 3-400 pages, lugging the big fat manuscript to the Post Office, finding which box they’ll fit and forking over the dough. At least not with many of the small publishers. We hope soon to see New York publishers catch up. At any rate, the books were finished after a year of hard work and research and I was ready to relax and take a break from writing for a while. This was not to be.

We left on October 8 for a writer’s conference in Eureka Springs where I was surrounded by ideas, and suggestions for two full days. After a day home to wash some clothes and pack up, we took off for Red River, New Mexico where we had a small get-together with Jodi Thomas. What did we do? Discussed writing, of course. After three gloriously sunny days there, we headed for Colorado and a brief visit with the protagonist of my latest book, Fly With the Mourning Dove. Edna celebrated her 95th birthday in July and doesn’t look a day older than she did ten years ago. Nor does she act it. We had a good time visiting with her, then it was a leisurely drive through Texas back to Duncan, OK for what? An all-day book fair where we discussed writing with other writers and readers.
That’s not all. Not a day passed during the trip that I didn’t find words to describe the scenery, or place characters in one of the ranches we passed, or dream up dialogue to set a scene. I guess once we’re caught up by this writing business, there’s no escape. And obviously we don’t want to get away from it.
It’s our habit to stay off the Interstates. My husband spends a good long while plotting our route over state highways that meander through small towns, ghost towns that sport closed service stations with old gravity pumps out front and empty, boarded up buildings. In one such town known as Yeso, New Mexico, I parked and we crawled out of the car. I’d spotted some old adobe buildings, mostly crumbling to the ground. Great scars in the walls took bites out of old signs advertising early products. Trees grew up through the floors. Glassless windows gaped darkly at us.
In Texas we drove through Caprock Canyon, a site we would have totally missed had we followed Interstate 40. The highway coiled between towering red bluffs and wandered between great cottonwoods dressed in bright gold autumn attire. Still, I made up stories. A wagon making its way through the hills, fording a creek where perhaps someone tumbled out and there would be a great scurrying to rescue that hapless character, who was in trouble at every turn.
I believe there is no escape from this trap called writing, no matter where we go or what we do. It’s not as if I can’t bring myself to write, rather it’s as if I can’t stop.
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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
This entry was posted in Jodi Thomas, small publishers, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Caught in the Trap of Writing

  1. Sheila Deeth says:

    I loved reading this slice of your writing life. And I can't stop either.

  2. Enjoyed your post. I have missed you and hoped you were well. You are so right about writers; we live in a world of our own that non-writers don't understand.

  3. madisonwoods says:

    Loved reading your slice of the writing life, and I also totally agree. It seems that every encounter, every moment of every day is fodder. That could be why I have problems with my memory – trying to file away too many other things up there (she says while tapping her noggin). I remember what is important to me…which may or not be important to anyone else!

  4. Good to hear from some followers. I've been home a week and trying to get back on schedule by posting today on both blogs. It's good to know other writers feel the same way I do.

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