Hey World, Here I Am

Welcome to Blog 2.0. 

A blog? No seriously, a blog. A blog where I write about writing. (Blogging is so not dead! Just ask Chuck Wendig and Kerry Clare, two writers and bloggers that I admire.)

I had a blog a decade ago called First Mystery Novel, back when I was working toward publishing my own first mystery novel. In that blog, I went back and read the first novels of crime writers I loved, and wrote about them. The first Agatha Christie, the first Dorothy Sayers, the first Julia Spencer-Fleming, the first Elizabeth George. Then the blog morphed, as blogs do, it’s one of the great things about them, and became about my own journey to publication. (Hey, maybe I’ll share some of those old posts on here now and then. That might be fun.)

In a lot of ways, that early blog was my way of saying, “Hey world, I’m here.”  So it seems fitting that, ten years later, I’m starting all over again in the blogosphere. You see, while my first two books came out tickety-boo, agent, big publisher, all that good stuff that writerly dreams are made of, I’ve been facing some obstacles along the road for the past five years. I have a backlog of books in my proverbial drawer (you can hear more about that here)  and the drawer is quite simply full. Starting to fill up yet another drawer is just not an option. 

I need an outlet.

I’m confident my stories will overcome these obstacles and get into your hands in due course, but in the meantime, I have things to say about writing that I think other writers (and would-be-writers) might like to hear about. 

Hey World, I’m Still Here.

One advantage of writing for so many years and not having a single word published, is that I have a highly concentrated experience of the writing process. I haven’t been interrupted by book launches, marketing, events, signings and festivals, and all the writerly angst that goes along with those things. (While I promise you, there has been plenty of angst, there really have been very few interruptions to my actual writing.)

All along, I’ve been sure I was working toward publication, but I’m starting to realize that it could be I’ve spent the last five years writing just for the sake of writing. 

Was it still worth it?

What is the point of writing, if no one reads what you’ve written?

Why would you invest all that time in something that no one ever sees?

How do you face the blank page each day and motivate yourself to do more?

Why does writing seem so hard sometimes, and are there ways to make it more enjoyable?

If your goal isn’t to write a book a year or a thousand words a day (or 50,000 words in November) how do you measure progress? 

How do we go beyond word count, and write our stories into being in a way that is fulfilling and meaningful? Why even start, if our words might never be published?

These are the questions I will be exploring in this blog. I’ll be sharing things I’ve learned and thoughts I’m having along the way. Big questions about mindset and purpose and smaller questions about habits and process. Insider glimpses into one writer’s life, and into one writer’s heart.

Hey World, I’m STILL here. Still writing.

Welcome to Beyond Word Count, my new blog, where I write about writing. And boy, do I have things to say. 

[This isn’t the only outlet I have for my writing. Every month, I write a letter to my readers, where I share a behind-the-scenes view of my work-in-progress, a mystery set in Montreal in 1947. Lots of readers write back, and we have this whole fun thing going on. If you want in, you can sign up here.]