Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Guest blog post by Karen (Kaz) Mahoney!

(This guest post is in replacement of a review) 

Kaz (I'll call her that because that's how I know her) is the author of the exciting debut novel, The Iron Witch. I've had the great joy of meeting Kaz last year (and for a few moments not realising who she was...remember the RHCB blogger brunch?) I say go read her book a) because it's such a fun read and b) she's talented and inspiring everyone else too! She's been snowed under with all the joys that going with being a published writer, but she's found time to write a post for me. Enjoy her words of wisdom which totally capture what being a writer is all about. 

Thoughts on Writing

by Karen Mahoney

I’ve been asked to talk to you today about a typical day in my writing life, including what I love the most – and the least – about being a published author. I’m afraid I ended up only talking about what I love most and least. This is more of a ‘meditation’ on those things, and on writing as a whole…

What do I love most?


What do I love least?


I know, I know; it’s a contradiction, but I’m a Gemini so I think this is totally normal. ;) Let me explain.

Writing is hard. Seriously, it is very hard. I’ve read some articles/blog posts by published authors – successful authors – who say that writing isn’t hard. They might compare writing to… say… digging ditches in Africa, and then hold up their hands as though to say, “There, I’ve made my point.” After all, how can writing be ‘hard’ when compared so some of the other genuinely difficult jobs in the world?

But everything is relative, and in the context of our lives here in places like the UK and the US, sitting down day after day, night after night; producing words that will be judged and pulled apart; struggling to find the right way to express the dreams and visions in our hearts and minds, but knowing that we will always be found lacking; not being talented enough; not being disciplined enough; hating the day’s work; loving the day’s work; re-reading the next day and finding that it’s good/bad/indifferent; not knowing if you’re wasting your time; wondering why you bother; thinking it might be time to go back to the regular working world; waking up at 4am and having to grab the notebook by your bed because you finally know how to fix that scene, the one that had you stuck for the past week…

Writing is hard. And it’s the worst part of being a published author.

And yet, writing is rewarding – it’s the very best part of being a published author. Finding the right word; the right sentence; dialogue that leaps off the page; a description that just… nails it; finally figuring out where your plot is lacking and fixing it; a new idea for a whole new project; an idea for a multi-book series that you’re sure hasn’t been done before; making yourself laugh as you write a scene where two of your favourite characters argue; making yourself cry when your characters hurt and you hurt right alongside them; sitting down intending to write just one scene, and then looking up hours later to find you’ve written a whole lot more, and you’re hungry as hell because you forgot the time and got sucked into the world between the words on the page.

That’s what I love most about writing, and I can’t imagine ever doing anything else. :)

Me neither! I think that everyone has something that they enjoy so much that they keep going through the tougher times, and rejoice in the fun ones. For many of us it is writing and/or reading. I strongly urge everyone to find that thing which they enjoy, to work on improving their skill in it, and spend their free time doing it. It helps with a person's general wellbeing, and often can bring happiness to others too (eg cooking, playing sports, crafts which can be presents for people, etc).  

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