It’s a juggle out there

Posted: October 17, 2010 in Writing, YA Fiction
Tags: , , ,

Writing books is like having children. You go into it in ignorance, make a lot of mistakes, and marvel when each turns out so beautiful in its own way.

But oh my giddy aunt, they are so so different, sometimes it’s hard to believe that they all share the same blood.

My first-born, Dust, was all sweat and tears. Delivered after an excruciating elephantine labour dogged by every conceivable complication.

When I finally held it in my hands I marveled that such a small package could have caused such anguish and such joy.

Twelve months later, I welcomed Henry Hoey Hobson into the world. The unplanned second-born. My little surprise.

Perhaps because he arrived unannounced to an uncertain reception, he was different from the word go. His story came out with so little prompting, it was as though he had been here before, an old soul who had come into the world fully formed.

He slipped out so naturally, so sweet and so true, that I wondered if he would forever spoil me for the next…

I hope not, because I’m currently tussling with my third in three years.

This time round, I’ve found it harder to juggle three balls at once. There’s always one ball in the air, and of late it seems to have been Intruder, the work-in-progress.

Dust has made it into high schools, and Henry Hoey Hobson into middle school, so there’s been a flurry of activity on the schools and promotion front.

But now that I’ve finished my last public appearance for the year, I have finally been able to put those two balls to the side.

I’m back in the dacks of track, centring myself at the keyboard.

Picking up that third ball and running with it. A thousand words a day until it’s done.

  1. Elaine says:

    Glad to hear that book three is on the way. Good luck with it Chris.

  2. I know that feeling, Chris,

    Sometimes the juggling makes your head spin. Glad to hear you have managed to put two balls aside and I hope that book 3 is progressing well.


  3. Oh I hear you! Except I could never manage 1,000 words. I so admire the persistence and sheer stick-to-the-chairedness of everyone that can do that day after day. I don’t think I’ve ever done it.

  4. chrisbongers says:

    Sandy, but you are so prolific! How are you getting all those wonderful books out? Tell me your secret – please?

  5. Ha! Flattery will get you everywhere (or at least a long way!) My secret? I have to warn you it is tediously boring – I am a plodder. 300-500 words day in and day out. No mad rush of creativity *sigh* I tend to spit and polish until sometimes I worry all the shine is worn off!

  6. chrisbongers says:

    That would work for me too, Sandy. Consistency is the key – 300 words a day is 100,000 words a year. And listen, you’re talking to another compulsive polisher, so I hear you sister. We never finish a manuscript, we simply surrender it. 🙂

  7. Little Hat says:

    1000 words a day. I’m impressed. I was born without the self discipline gene. I have a healthy dose of the ‘avoidance’ gene and the ‘easily distracted’ gene. It obviously pays off. A book a year! Thats ten a decade. I did get a book published in 1995. Perhaps 2015 is my next target. One every twenty years. That’s five in a century.
    Enjoy the writing.

  8. chrisbongers says:

    It would have been so much more impressive if I hadn’t instantly failed to meet my target, Steve. Was asked at the last minute to chair a publisher and agent seminar tonight, got a dozen bits burnt off my neck, spent way too much time on bookkeeping instead of my book, and have only managed 1,600 in the past four days. Looks like a big weekend coming up. 🙂

    • David Thornby says:

      I was really impressed with your seminar-chairing Chris — you are a fantastic speaker. Knowing that it was last minute just makes it more impressive! Thanks and well done.

  9. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks David. QWC does a wonderful job and it’s always a pleasure to help them out. Pippa Masson and Rod Morrison provided a fascinating insight into the world of agents and publishers. Glad you enjoyed it and good luck with your writing journey. 🙂

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