On the Trail of a Story

Vicki Doudera here, in the throes of finishing a short crime story. 

Well – kind of – because right now I’m writing this blog, and yesterday I had to put in several hours at my “other” job as a real estate agent… and yet, I am finishing a short story.

Many people ask me how I hold down a full-time job, as well as a new part-time one as a co-host of a talk show on a new television network here in the midcoast. (www.vstv.me if you are interested – and my show is called “Soup du Jour”) and yet still manage to get writing done.

The answer is: it isn’t easy.

I do it by making a conscious effort to get myself in my office as often as I can to physically write, and then, when I am not in my office, I make a conscious effort to work on my story in my head. It’s not writing, but it’s close. It’s figuring out the details. Playing around with the big picture. Giving my brain the freedom to ramble with an idea.

I do this while I am driving to appointments, or walking to work. I ask myself how I’ll solve a particular plot point, and then, while my feet pound the pavement, I let my mind roam. Some of the ideas are gold – some are just steps along the way. But all of them help as I navigate the elusive trail we call fiction.

Would I love to have the whole day to do nearly nothing but write? Sometimes I long for that, and then I remember that I lived that lifestyle thirteen years ago, before I went into real estate. And although I had a good chunk of time everyday to work on the magazine articles I was writing at the time, I can’t say that I used the time very efficiently. In fact, I would say looking back that I squandered much of it!

Not that it matters, because it’s in the past, and my present now includes commitments in addition to my writing assignments: jobs, volunteer posts, hobbies. At times I do feel like a juggler. Sometimes I’m a very agile one, and sometimes it seems I’m dropping lots of balls. Back in March I let a few fall to the floor, including posting for this blog. Please forgive me, gentle readers.

If there is any upside to my fragmentation, it’s this:  when I do sit down at my desk to write, I breathe a happy sigh and feel a sense of bliss. Finishing a short story is not my chore, but my privilege.

And so I will chip away and get it done. Meanwhile…. sending creative thoughts your way as we approach the month of May!

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5 Responses to On the Trail of a Story

  1. MCWriTers says:

    Great to be reminded, Vicki, of the joyous and exciting side of writing…as well as the challenge of juggling.


  2. karla says:

    Thank you Vicki. That hit the spot, right where I needed it. A boot kick to my butt.

  3. karla says:

    …also, congratulations and best wishes with ‘Soup du Jour’!

  4. Vicki et al., I receive these MCW posts via RSS, and some hacker is inserting obscene comments into them (apparently associated with visuals in the posts). This is the third time I’ve seen one. Somebody’s computer or server has acquired malware.

    Have any other followers of Maine Crime Writers posts noticed these?

    • Belatedly replying: We’re trying to figure out where this is coming from and how to stop it. I’m computer illiterate myself, but my understanding is that the RSS feed isn’t something we control from the Maine Crime Writers end of things. Thanks for alerting us. Be patient. It may take awhile to sort out.


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