Some of the writers whose blogs I follow will hardly ever post general status updates about their lives and the various milestones in their careers. You can read their blogs for months without learning about how they’re feeling and the books they’ve started and completed and the milestones their kids have achieved. I don’t follow that route. I don’t keep this blog buttoned down and focused on writing and reading. Mostly that’s simply for expediency. Sometimes I sit down to write a blog post and simply have no idea what to write other than, “I think they’re about to pay me, and, oh yeah, I’m working on a story that I like.”
I think, though, that sometimes this gives a skewed view of life and makes it sound like I’m bragging, which is not what I really intend. Mostly, I write about those things because I feel like new writers are interested in questions like “How often do you get paid?” and “How long does it take for the money to come?”
As is true for most writers, my life is mostly pretty unremarkable and has its fair share of reversals. For instance, I’ve been trying for around eight months to write another book, and I have been really struggling. For some reason, I can’t write books in the old way, but I don’t really know any other way to do it. And I don’t know if maybe this is something that I should try to ignore and overcome, or if these are the birthing pains for a whole new way of doing something. I’ve had trouble writing before. For instance, during my whole first year at Hopkins, I found it really difficult to finish short stories. And each time I’ve had these difficulties, I’ve come back and had a period of immense productivity. I think something like that will happen again. But it’s frustrating and not optimal and also kind of scary, since now I have contractual deadlines to meet. When the juice is flowing, I write very fast, and my deadlines right now are pretty far out (my second book isn’t due until January 1st, 2016), so I’m not that worried, but, you know, it still preys on my mind.
And then there are all the myriad other problems in life that fall into the category of things I don’t blog about: romantic difficulties; worries about my diet and my health; thinking about money. In general, life is pretty good, but there are lots of ways in which it’s not optimal. Which you already knew, of course, but I just felt like noting it for the record.