Thursday, June 18, 2009
Why Write? Suzanne Macpherson
I tried to quit, really I did. I tried to become a gardener, but my soil is just so unforgiving. I tried to become a housewife but I’m very, very bad at it. Just when you get everything cleaned up it all goes to hell in a hand basket again. What kind of a job is that? Where is the THE END part? Hey, I was taking a self-inflicted break from the relentless deadline and crazy market trends, and maybe a permanent one! I thought about getting a secretarial job. The part where I can type 2000 words a minute with the UPS man standing in the hallway waiting for my manuscript was a big asset. I’m a cheery person, I’m computer hardwired, I could learn Microsoft Access! But hmm would I be able to steal some writing time? I considered a job at a storage facility. Lots of down time and maybe even some story lines from the contents of abandon storage units?
One day I said to myself, what if I just wrote whatever came out of me instead of manually twisting and forcing my muse into the current "Hunt for High Concept” shape?
So I sat down and just let her rip. I even sat down at a computer that wasn’t my normal computer. Change of scenery. I got eight pages of really amazing stuff. I won't tell you how long it stayed at eight pages, and how excited I got a couple of agents about those eight pages. But the rest of the story hadn't evolved yet. My imagination sparked like a flint- but the twigs weren’t quite dry enough yet. I had to keep trying to twist things up into pretzel shapes.
The Summer of 2009 will go down as the summer I packed my virtual suitcase full of research and inspiration and moved into the hotel Kathryn. Kathryn is the main character in the young adult trilogy I have been crafting for two years. Some of you might know my muse. Her name is Maggie Grover. By sheer chance (ha ha) we connected last fall. Sometimes you need an expert like Maggie to get the flint to ignite all the way. There is nothing that woman does not know about Scottish/English/Roman history. Turns out we were on a bigger journey than just books, and we’ve opened up our lives to all kinds of amazing adventures. Scotland and England here we come!
Birthing the full concepts for these three books was like well, birthing another kid, and I’ve had four already. If you count my seven other books, that makes eleven! I can honestly say it was a c-section too, because I had to cut all the self-doubt and old negatives out of my head to get this train on its track. (talk about your mixed metaphors!)
So. I admit it. I’m a writer. Well, we all knew that, didn’t we. I watched Wonder Boys yesterday. (I love Toby Maguire btw) There was a line from the crusty old writer/ professor where they asked him why he wrote the book he wrote ( the one that flew into the river) and he said. . .
“Because I couldn’t stop.”