Midnight Confessions

Forgive me father. It’s been several months since the last time I wrote.

I think about it all the time. I have characters, plots, settings scraping away inside my brain, demanding their release, but I physically do not have the time.

Life is always busy and it is always difficult to carve out time to write, but the past few months for a variety of reasons have been crushingly busy. I know I will get back to it as soon as I can and I’m very excited about a new thriller that is about 2/3 written with the rest banging about my head.

I write this midnight confession not for sympathy or absolution but to share this realization that we all suffer from this strange sickness where it is a necessity that we write. Most people don’t feel this, nor do they understand the compulsion, the absolute need to write. I feel horrible that I have left these characters I created, my characters, in unspeakable danger, waiting for me to return. For some, my delay is beneficial because not all of them will survive my return. But for the others, the clock continues ticking and there’s nothing they can do, except jab me when I try to fall asleep.

This stop in the action is maddening. It’s against nature. Thrillers are designed to build and build and build, to never stop. Soon, soon, I will return. And I will race along with my characters. We will struggle and fail. We will do bad things for good reasons. And we will try to save the world. And everything will be right again.

Thank you for hearing my confession.

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8 Responses to Midnight Confessions

  1. C.T. Collier says:

    On the flip side, I was racing through the plot of my WIP when I paused for a short vacation with a mystery-loving friend. On the drive home, I realized I’d raced right past an important subplot. It has taken me a couple of weeks to pull apart, insert, and weave together an improved story, and now I’m ready to move forward. I think our minds need time away, during which they reconsider the work in progress and redirect those flying fingers. –Kate, writing as c.t. collier

  2. Oh Brendan, I hear you. It can be so difficult to juggle a full time (more than full time) day career and a writing life, and I say that as someone who, unlike you, does not have kids who also need and deserve your attention. You are absolved so long as you are willing to find some time to reunite with your characters to finish their story. Amen.

  3. Kate Flora says:

    I remember when I used to be a writer. It was marvelous. Looking forward to trying it again some time.

    Can you do 500 words a day, perhaps? That’s the way we eat the whale.

  4. Whoa! I could have written this (except my book isn’t a thriller). I’m in the exact same situation and the guilt is crushing, as well as the build-up in my head. My writing process demands that I immerse myself for hours or I just spin my wheels, so I haven’t been able to get to it. It’s not that I don’t want to write — I long for it.
    Thanks for the confession. It makes me feel that I’m not alone. Maybe we should form a support group.
    My one piece of good news is that I’m renting a friend’s camp on Unity Pond in a week or two for six days and will only write. Initially I thought since there’s wifi I could do some of my other (money-making) things, but then firmly told myself no. Just write, go for walks, recharge my writing brain an immerse myself in it. I can’t wait!

  5. Barb Ross says:

    Ah, I remember it well. The years of big jobs and big kids and everything else life can throw at you. And it just keeps throwing, even when those years are past us. Nevertheless, we persist.

  6. Lea Wait says:

    Yes. Just — yes. Life does interfere. And — yes — life is important.

  7. Thanks for the support, all.

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