Being a Maine Writer? It’s Tough

Hey all, Gerry Boyle here. And I’ve got a bone to pick with people who say what a perfect place Maine is if you’re a writer.  What a crock. I mean, yes, Maine is beautiful. Scenery is to die for. The pace is civilized. People are by-and-large good, at least compared to … states I won’t name or live in.

But writing here. It’s tough.

I say this having spent some of the afternoon and evening on the lake where I live. It’s not famous (No “On Golden Pond” heritage here). No, it’s quiet and uncelebrated, except by the people who enjoy it.  And this week it was time to acknowledge that the season is winding down, and the lake was quieter still.

Very few boats out. Loons rafted up. In the trees over the cove where my boat is moored, an osprey kept making loops from lake to the dead limbs of an overhanging maple. I think it was a fledged bird anxious about heading off to the great big world. It kept hitting the water and coming up empty.

Ditto for the bass fishermen who trolled by, casting over and over and bringing in nothing but lure. By his side was a mongrel shepherd, patiently watching this odd human activity. “How’s you’re fishing buddy?” I called. “She’s happy just being here,” the guy said.

Me, too. Happy just being out on the water. Happy to spend time when most people have left and the lake returns to something closer to it’s natural state. I’ll hang on until just before the state pulls the docks at the boat ramp. Every day added to the season is a bonus. This is a beautiful place and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

Which brings me back to the writing. Oh, yeah, I get it done. Working on the edits of the ms. of DEAD SAMARITAN, with my co-writer Emily Westbrooks. It’s going well; the pre-pub readers thus far like the book a lot.  I’m a third of the way through the second edit. Then on to a new McMorrow novel, to follow ONCE BURNED.

And we do this as the days grow shorter. The loons are calling. Eagles sail overhead and down at the cove an osprey learns to fish.

So, yes, Maine is a great place for crime writers. But give us some credit, those of us who ply our craft here. When we’re at the writing desk, we know there’s no place we’d rather be than in Maine. But that doesn’t make it easy. Let me tell ya.






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4 Responses to Being a Maine Writer? It’s Tough

  1. John Clark says:

    Great post. Making cider and harvesting squash pulled me away from writing yesterday. Try doing those in NYC.

  2. Lea Wait says:

    Definitely understand! Work demands 7 day a week attention … I love to do so many things in Maine (in my case, auctions, flea markets, craft fairs, restaurants, art galleries, museums … and just appreciating the scenery …) that I did much more often when I was a “summer complaint” who came for 2-4 weeks on vacation. Now that I live here I do those other things I love most often when we have company. But – of course – it’s my choice. I always wanted to live in Maine full time, and write full time. I remind myself every day that I’m lucky both of those dreams have come true. Even if I don’t get to eat lobsters on the wharf or take a day antiquing any more ….

  3. thelma straw says:

    I envy you people who get to live there…. God’s country… Thelma Straw in noisy Manhattan

  4. Barbara Ross says:

    Spent August working hard at my desk in Boothbay Harbor.

    And by desk, I mean table on the porch with a gorgeous view of the harbor.

    And by working hard, I mean writing.

    So really, not so bad at all.

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