distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.


I finished the outline for the YA assignment and emailed it to the editors an hour ago. “Finished” is a funny word. I could have worked on that outline all weekend. For weeks, really. It’s establishing a whole new cast of characters and although I know them better than I did some days ago I could still know more…

Stop. It’s out of my hands now. Sort of freeing, really. (Also I have another freelance assignment to dive into this weekend.)

A coworker came by yesterday and asked how I liked having all these freelance assignments. I said I liked it a lot. But how about your “real” writing, she asked, how’s that going? And you and I know the truth: it’s not. I have no time. It’s so sad to say I have no time for my own stuff. I wonder if I made the right decision to do all this and then I think: it happened and it’s happening and there’s no going back now.

I hope to get back to my “real” writing soon. Maybe this weekend, in between things. Maybe the inspiration will take me by force and I won’t be able to stop myself. I’m going to hope for that.

5 responses to “Outlined”

  1. I’m so glad you finished, Nova. I wouldn’t worry too much about your other writing projects right now. Think of all that pornography Henry Miller and Anais Nin wrote to make ends meet. Or, rather, don’t. I’m not sure I want to go in that direction here. Writers don’t have patrons anymore — not really — and being able to earn a living by writing and reading is a fortunate thing. Doing these novels so efficiently, and having fun with them, must be good training for some part of your work. Also, I do think you will get to your novels and stories soon enough — you’ve been writing a long time and a few freelance projects aren’t going to silence you. More likely, they’ll make you more eager to get on with other things when you’re done.

    The YA novels sound interesting — are they those series books where you’ve got the same basic girls and they have different kinds of adventures? My sons love this sort of thing, except they go for the ones that have to do with boy adventures. I like to think they’re being written by an intelligent woman with good taste, like you. And if you happen to know they’re not, well, don’t tell me, okay?

  2. Thanks, bloglily! Comparing it to Henry Miller and Anais Nin writing porn is fantastic. That will make me laugh all weekend. (Hmmm. Maybe I should try writing porn instead? Um, no. I’d be horrible at it.)

    Yes, it is (invisibly) writing YA novels like the ones you described. The writer on the cover doesn’t exist as an actual person and never did. The series I’ve been working on takes place in New York so sometimes places I’ve been or things I’ve seen sneak in. This time, there are brand-new characters so it took me an extra-long time since it will be the starting note for the other writers who come after me.

    I don’t know too much about this kind of YA fiction for boys so, don’t worry, I can’t shed any light on whether or not they’re ghostwritten and who the invisible writers might be! Better that way, I’m sure.

  3. “Maybe I should try writing porn instead? Um, no. I’d be horrible at it.”

    Well, they were horrible at it, too. The stuff that was written to pay the rent, anyway – if they wrote another kind I’ve never seen it. But I don’t think it’s for you, anyway – you put too much of yourself into your projects to waste on cheap porn. (The good stuff might be another matter.)

  4. Congrats! The last time I visited your blog you were worrying about finishing and now it is done. Wonderful! I agree with what is being said about sometimes needing do other things before working on own projects – whether that other is for money or sanity or even just a practice run, it is all good because you ARE writing. You are being paid to write. And it isn’t 2 cents per pornographic page. Thank goodness we’ve come some way from believing that only men can be writers and females can only write journals and diaries.

    A virtual toast to your deadline!

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