Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Books and the Courage to Keep Writing

Hi there! If you happen to be Mr. Michael Bourret, agent extraordinaire, please click over here to read all about how your incredible client, Brodi Ashton, gave the unflappable Gina (and me, too!) full-on permission to 'stalk' you. I promise, Gina and her manuscript are worth your while.

(Sunday) I've just spent the morning at the zoo with my children. It was so hot, my head is left with a fuzzy, thick feeling. The sinus cold my baby just gave me probably isn't helping. 

The house is cluttered, the children aren't wearing pants, and there are crumbs ground into the carpet. I just vaccuumed yesterday. (Didn't I?)

I am exhausted. (Who isn't?)

I need to write. There are other things I need to be doing. But I need to write.

Needs: 1. Air Conditioning 2. Coffee 3. Other people who revere words strung into stories.

I'm going to the bookstore.

I don't believe that paper books are better than digital. I don't care about the smell of their pages or the feel of their weight or the crack of their spine. 

Except when I do.

People live in these books. The people who wrote them and the characters they wrote. People who abandoned the housework and fought oppression and kept their eyes open despite exhaustion and poured their entire beings into their work and did magic and saved the world, and maybe saved themselves as well.

Which is author and which is story? 

(Does it matter?)

When I look down the rows the evidence lines up, spine strong against spine, an army of authors telling me that I shouldn't give up. 


"Look at us," the books say. 

"Just look. We had day jobs and housework and exhaustion and heartache and we did it. We still found a way to pour our hearts and souls into words, to breathe life into characters and stories that never existed before, and to defy the odds to get them printed on this paper."


I sit with that for a moment, considering them, countering that they were better writers and more determined people. And then they whisper, "What makes you think you have the right to stop trying?"

And then I turn to my keyboard and start to write.


  1. Sooo true. I can't preach about missing 100% of the shots you don't take if I stop taking them. Doesn't mean I don't occasionally want to gouge my eyes out with the corner of one of those books!

    And your comment about Sam and Grace on my blog cracked me up this morning. There's a whole other world that those YA lovers have no freakin' clue about!

  2. Awww! That was some AWESOME inspiration!

    I think I need to go write now.

  3. Simply beautiful (even the pants-less children - boy can I relate!). So encouraging!

  4. I really loved this post. That's exactly what I think every time I walk into a bookstore. It's what I love about publishing--you don't have to be famous or have the perfect circumstances to get a book out there. You just have to work really, really hard. (And have a little bit of luck.)

    And speaking of YA sci-fi/Scrivener besties, I definitely think that should be happening, like, right now. I'm always up for another critique partner! Should I email you?

  5. *blushes madly.*
    I have to believe it, ladies. Have to. We're all going to be in print one day.

    @Francesca - just emailed you. Squeeee!