Friday, January 15, 2010

My Love Affair with Fiction

I am in a love/hate relationship with Fiction. Big fiction. Book-sized fiction.

For years, I wrote non-fiction. Whip up an article--send it out. Hear back in a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes within the day. Yes or no. If yes, it would be published within another six months or so and voila! A check would arrive.

That's why I'm in the hate part of writing fiction
.

Where's the feedback, the instant gratification, the payoff?

So right now, you're groaning and saying Terri, Terri--the gratification is in the writing itself! Knowing you did a good job! Opening up your laptop and seeing your word count rise.

I hear you. That's why the love part.

But I looked back over the past year and realized maybe I need some of that instant stuff. Am I falling into the ways of our society? Got to have it fast?

Maybe.


But then there's my WIP. Ahhhh. I have to admit. I love it. I just wish the process of writing a book moved along a little bit faster.

How about you? Are you satisfied with your relationship with writing books or do you sometimes crave that need to get some of your work out there a little bit sooner?

28 comments:

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I need to write more nonfiction just to get my name out there more. For now, I am pleased. Fiction is where my heart lies. But I do wish it would be published soon. :0)

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Yep, I'm pretty happy about my writing. I can see it improving and maybe me with it...hopefully. As to instant gratification? I've been waiting four years for publication. Literally. My book was accepted four years ago, so, there's yardstick for comparison. Ha! Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Best Wishes Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Tamika: said...

Oh yeah- love/hate relationship for me! I'm the spokesmodel for "I want it now."

Lord help me!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

That's why I've given up writing books because I'm an "instant gratification" writer!!! LOL!! I'm not that good, like you, with non-fiction, but I love to have several fiction short stories going at once! Talk about multi-tasking!! LOL!

jinksy said...

Perhaps I'm just easily pleased. One sonnet and a 55word story seemed ok for my morning's work! :)

Heckety said...

Could you do a bit of non-fiction, say two articles a month or something, so that you get the 'instant hit' bit as well as plugging away at the WIP?

I don't know if that's possible, just throwing the idea out. I know I find it really hard to work away at something with no reward of any sort, like quilting a bedsize quilt, no progress, no progress, then even when I'm done, no buyer.

So I do understand completely what you are saying...

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes, the waiting and the slow process drives me nutso.
I have another submission with Avalon and I just found out it got lost. Grrr.. A whole month down the drain.
That's another reason why I'm setting weekly word goals. To write a little faster.

Jody Hedlund said...

Ah, that's the hard part of writing--deciding what we're truly writing for. Is it payment in monetary form or payment in seeing the story? And even though the money is nice--finally got two advance checks and will have to file income tax! I know I would still write for the pure pleasure of creating my stories!

Jan Cline said...

Oh boy, I can relate. I have always written non fiction until last year when a friend of mine (initials TT) said "you can do it." My life changed when I started writing fiction. It stretched me in ways I never dreamed. It opened up a whole new way of thinking. I love it. But I also still feel compelled to keep my non fiction teeth sharpened. But it's a tough balance. You are fortunate to be very good at both. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I am so relieved to find someone who feels like I do!! I send out articles, sell a few here and there, get a check, take my DH out to eat, say bye bye to check. But at least I get paid...

The books are different. I've been working on them for years, with no end in sight. Or paycheck.

But all those people who tell you the joy is in the writing, know what they are talking about.

My solution? Do both. When I can't stand the books, I switch gears and work on articles. Keeps me from going nutso. Wait, it's too late for that.

Elana Johnson said...

Yes, everything is so slow in fiction. It's the length. Then the ginormous amount of work it takes to edit. Then sell. Then edit some more. It's eternal.

I just have to remind myself that I'm only at the beginning, and the ride is going to be really fun.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Besides the fact non-fiction was my first love, I keep submitting for that instant gratification and payoff.

Let the small projects fuel your desire to write a great book. :)

Blessings,
Susan :)

destrella said...

The instant love feels good too. :O)

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm so used to writing fiction and having to wait that I don't really notice the time lapse. Now, this all changes after I've polished the sucker up and sent out the query letters. Then I check my email approximately 4,892 times a day!!!

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm in love with writing, but not so much revising. :)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I echo Susan above.

Sh. Don't tell, but I will write even if I never get paid. Better keep that one quiet! ;)
~ Wendy

Travis Erwin said...

I'm always trying to get some of my work out there but the blog satisfies some of my need for feedback.

Janna Qualman said...

Great post, Terri! I love it a little more than I hate it, but I certainly fall into the instant gratification trap. And I wish that word counter moved faster, too!

Carmen said...

Sounds like you're good with the non-fiction, so I agree with Heckety. You'll always have the fiction there too...and you'll be faithful to it as well. I wouldn't call it instant gratification. Getting your work out there is important too! I'm sure people will be blest!

Karen Lange said...

I write more non fiction but am starting a book soon. Will let you know what I think of it then...I see your point:)
Blessings!

Lin Floyd said...

well I'm a non fiction writer but currently working on a book of nature books for my grandkids and it's fun for a change. I'm not really trying to sell my stuff but give it to my family and friends but I do enjoy selling articles to magazines.

Nancy said...

I almost never think about sending the book out when I'm actually writing it. Even later, I may not get to it. The reward was just to know I could write a book and I did. I'm fascinated at your ability with non-ficion. I have always wanted to try a longer version of that. So, there's quicker response, eh? Need to look into that.

Amy Tate said...

Terri, I feel that way too. I try to have two or three projects going on at one time so that a check will appear here and there. BTW, I'm down to four weeks before the Chicken Soup for the Soul NASCAR book is released, and still no word on whether or not I made the cut. They did send me a final draft and I signed off on it. I sure hope it comes to fruition!

Jessica said...

I definitely want some mula, but I'm satisfied for now with the people who crit my stories. It's fun having other people critique or praise what you've worked hard on. :-) So that satisfies me, but I've never been successful with articles, so maybe if I had, then I'd want more. *smile*

Gina Conroy said...

Over the last five years I've been learning to let go of the instant gratification and the WIPs that haven't made it past an editors desk. It's hard and painful, but if we truly are writers at heart, we learn to push past the pain and stare at another blank page and fall in love with new characters over and over again.

Gina Conroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Texas Playwright Chick said...

For me, it's not necessarily needing instant gratification, but just needing to know that I'm making progress. But, then, since I'm a playwright, I'm usually able to scrape together a couple of willing actors and a small audience to get some comments. That becomes my gratification...a good healthy critique!

But, I do hear where you're coming from.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Terri, right now I'm in the throws of believing that the only satisfaction I'll ever get out of my writing is internal--me, myself, and I related through growth in spirit and as a human being. I'm not thinking God has any plans for my work to reach beyond my critique partners which infuses guilt in me, too. Why am I waisting their time?