Tuesday, January 13, 2015
After more than four years of blogging about books, the publishing industry and writers' lives, I have decided to lay down my quivering pen in order to more fully concentrate on writing my own books.
This is not an easy decision to make because creating The Quivering Pen in May 2010 and sustaining it over the years has been a central and (mostly) enjoyable part of my life.
And that's the problem. The Quivering Pen became a little too central to my daily writing routine as I found myself using nearly all of my time in the mornings writing and formatting blog posts before I dashed off to my Day Job. I often thought about the stories and drafts of novels languishing on my hard drive, but pushed those thoughts aside in favor of writing the next blog post. Thus, since Fobbit's publication in 2012 progress on the work-in-progress has gotten progressively sluggish. I had a revelation of sorts a month ago when I woke up with an idea for a story and, rather than turning immediately to The Quivering Pen, I opened my laptop and started typing rapidly, spilling a rush of sentences onto the screen as I built this short story. Midway through, a thought blinked on like a neon light: "I really should be blogging instead of doing this." This was immediately followed by other flashing-neon thoughts: "No, no--wait! I've got it all wrong: the opposite is true. I should be saying, 'Why am I blogging when I should be writing the novel?'"
And so began the slow revolution of the soul which brought me to the current decision to close the door on this blog. (Note: I'm only closing the door, not locking it; there's the possibility I'll return to The Quivering Pen at a later date. I like to keep my options open.)
My thanks to everyone who has supported the blog over the years. Your comments and emails have encouraged me to keep talking about books and their importance in our lives. Special thanks to all the authors, from Caroline Leavitt to Sharma Shields, who so generously shared their First Times with my readers. That series is one of my favorite features of The Quivering Pen and I always looked forward to Mondays when I could blog about another writer's early experiences in writing and publishing.
Of course I'll still be chatting about books and publishing elsewhere (like Book Riot)--you can't completely silence a fervent book evangelist like me. For more bookish conversation, I encourage you to "Like" me at my Facebook page and, for more truncated dialogue, at Twitter.
Now, I'm off to finish this draft of the novel I'm calling Crossing Baghdad. After that, it's on to a revision of Dubble, the satire about a Hollywood stuntman. Beyond that, other novels wait their chance to be written....like the one about the 12-year-old girl who falls in love with the actor playing Judas in a touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar; or the one about the obese butcher who, in the 1930s, swims the Yellowstone River to prove his love for a woman who has scorned his advances; or the one about the married couple, paralyzed in a car crash and now lying side by side in hospital beds, who realize they're still in love even though they can never touch each other again (working title: Married, With Broken Necks); or the one about the small town in Montana trying to piece itself back together after a bus accident which kills nearly every member of its high school wrestling team; or....well, you get the idea. My head is an aquarium full of fish, each one with a story to tell.
I'll see you on the bookshelf, my friends....