“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” —Agatha Christie
One of the questions I get most frequently is that of inspiration. I imagine the sources of inspiration for writers are as varied as the stories themselves, and sometimes the spark is not as predictable as one may think. Some writers tell of struggling to put pen to paper, then having an epiphany after which the words begin to flow. Perhaps a singular event is a catalyst for a poem, song, or novel. Whatever the case, there is no canned formula for getting that inspiration to write.
That brings me to the more personal part of this blog. My plan was to start a new book in the fall of 2022. I confess I have not done that yet. Sometimes life has other plans. Thankfully I am healthy and able- that is not the issue. I was pretty bound and determined to start this past October. My reasoning was simple, “I started Dunnigan in October. That worked out, so I would like to follow that trend.” As October approached, I realized I was not yet ready to begin. I have written and spoken on research in previous blogs, and the research for a story continues (for me, at least) throughout the entire process until I reach the final product. I feel pretty settled on the time period, but I do not feel that I have gotten to the proper ‘saturation point’ of information to be able to strike out on the journey yet. I would liken it to one knowing they would like to visit a particular state without being sure what they would like to do when they get there. Some people are alright with that, while others are not. I am the latter!
Once I conceded that I would not start in October, it lifted a weight off of me. I felt the wheels start to turn a bit more freely, and I am subconsciously working on elements of the story. When will I start writing the next book? I can only say that I will start when I’m good and ready, even if I do not know exactly when that will happen. I know I have to continue living my life and doing the things that interest me in order to get there. That includes all the mundane things-even washing the dishes, as the quote suggests. There is a time for deadlines and a time for freedom from them. Until then, I hope to continue promoting Dunnigan in the best ways possible. This Saturday, I will join a host of other local authors at the Coffee County Manchester Public Library. If you have been looking for a chance to pick up a personalized copy and possibly add some other books from local authors to your shelf, the upcoming event will be a fantastic time to do so! See you around soon.