Thursday, November 12, 2009

A full time writer?...

It is a strange week. My daughters sports team is in crisis and its stressful for her as she comes up to her NCEA exams. My SO's work is a leetle crazy right now too. Yet I have had three good bits of news this week - one related to my writing, one for my university study, and one completely out of the blue. I'm trying not to jump up and down too much but I am definitely doing a little dance on the inside.

I came across this smart yet funny bit of writerly advice (where writer/editor Kit Whitfield cleverly compares query letters to dating) the other day via Sally Zigmond's blog The Elephant in the Writing Room. Its not quite so applicable for the New Zealand writing/publishing scene but still very much worth a read.

You know how gas expands to fill a jar? I am definitely an expert time waster. When people ask if I write full time I tend to laugh. I have time available at the moment to spend on my writing but I still manage to distract myself with other things LIKE HOUSEWORK or Sudoku or picking lint out of my navel. There are writers who sit at their computer every day and make themselves write so many words (like a thousand or ten thousand or something). I'm not sure I'm capable of this, or that I want to be capable of this. It works for them but I'm not sure it would work for me. I like the way my stories develop slowly over time. Short stories and picture books are my quick writing fix but novels need a longer gestation. There's a lot of thinking that goes on behind the scenes, and a whole heap of tinkering, both inside my mind and on the page. Sometimes I wish they'd just hurry and grow up and leave home but then they wouldn't be my stories. My stories have to be hand made by me, using the process that I use. So you tell me, do I write full time?


Tania Roxborogh said...

well, are you gonna tell us your three bits of news??? You can't leave us all hanging like that.

Melinda Szymanik said...


1)Australia are taking more Were-Nana
2) I aced my university exam
3) I won $1000 worth of clothes and some styling advice in a westfield competition

I wish every week was like this :)

TK Roxborogh said...

what a week!!! Hearty congratulations. That should keep you boosted for a bit.
Go Melinda!! (And the Were-Nana)

Pen said...

Congrats Melinda! Maybe the Aussies do noy know they're doing, eh?

Fifi Colston said...

was it Trinny and Suzanna? How exciting. And congrats on the other two very significant bits of briliance! x