Sunday, October 7, 2012

I Miss The Magic

Lately, I’ve been mired in editing—first with my second novel in the Cotillion series, The Abolitionist’s Secret, which went back to the publisher late last week, and then with my third novel in the series, which is being polished up to send off. It makes me feel good when my babies walk out the door, but it seems like it’s been forever since I’ve done any creative writing. Consequently, my attendance at my various writing groups has fallen off, since I have nothing to share, and many edits to complete by a deadline date.

So what do I do with these characters who keep popping into my head? Right now, I have a young woman who is a nurse in the Civil War on the Confederate side and her husband, who is wounded in battle and comes to the hospital. Trouble is, he’s a Union soldier and if he gets better, he’ll be hauled off to a prison camp. What to do? This delightful dilemma has been rolling around in my head for a few weeks, but I haven’t had the opportunity to put anything down on paper. Maybe I can find time this week to begin.

I know we all come at writing from different angles—some do it to pass the time, some write because it makes them feel good, some like to set goals and reach them. I write because I can’t imagine life without the creative process. If I have a week where I’m at a conference or on a vacation, I find that I miss being able to sit down at my computer and have an idea that takes off. My fingers fly across the keyboard and, to me at least, it’s like magic when an actual story emerges from the corner of my brain. And, right now, I’m missing the magic. 

How about you? Do you feel like something's missing from your life if you don't write, or is writing something you do to escape from your normal routine to a more pleasant place? How do you balance the editing process with the creative one? 


  1. I generally don't mind editing, I just released my first book and am working to polish its sequel. It's been so long since I've actually written, I'm definintely missing it.
    Great post, Callie. Good points.
    -R.T. Wolfe

  2. Editing isn't my favorite part of writing by a long shot, it's the fear of not editing and the hot mess my editor might see if I didn't that drives me. Drafts are my favorite - the discovery of fresh characters, dialogue and figuring out the story is addictive!

    To balance, I use the fresh story as a carrot to finish edits - get 20 pages edited, get to play with character arcs for a bit...that kind of thing.

    Love the sound of your Civil War story!

  3. Hi Becky! Do you ever do both at the same time? Or do you need to totally immerse yourself in one story at a time? This is something I struggle with, being able to flex both those kinds of muscles at the same time.

  4. I have been in edit mode for a long time. I have twelve manuscripts to edit! For me, editing is almost as good as writing because I'm stilling working with the story-line I love, and the characters I love. However, if something takes me away from editing or writing for too long, (like marketing or, heaven forbid, cleaning) I get crabby. I need it. I feel anxious and unsettled if I'm away from it for too long. Weird, huh?

  5. Hi Becky,

    I'm just now getting back into writing. I've been in edit mode for a while. I work as an editor so I'm always editing something. When I'm also editing my own writing and not writing anything new, I get a little down on myself. I like both sides of the process, but writing something new is always a little more satisfying.