On my blog for the novel y1 I shared a few thoughts last night about finishing my third book and what I though of each of my three novels. The introspection was promoted, I think, by the vertigo induced by going from no creative writing at all (except what goes on naturally in my head all the time) to writing three novels in two years. I’m still not totally sure why I was suddenly compelled to write so much so fast. An aging body and new sense of mortality? The added free time that suddenly comes with grown children and no living parents? A letting go of my career ambitions in my “day job” as a geophysicist? Probably all of the above. But mostly, I had this story to tell and all of the sudden I was compelled to tell it while I still remembered it all. (That’s a picture up there of my brain cell trying to remember.)
Last night’s thoughts prompted me to ask myself two questions. 1. Would these have been better books if I had spent more time writing them? 2. Would the rest of my life be better if I had taken a more laid back approach?
To the first, I think the answer is only marginally. Writing fast and obsessively is clearly my way and I can’t create using someone else’s style. I suppose that I could have edited more, but frankly I’d gotten to the point where I would change words and then change them back again, so any added improvements from those last bouts of editing were barely incremental. The books might have benefited from sitting on a shelf for a couple of years and then being looked at with fresh eyes, but there isn’t a universe in which Sherrie Cronin behaves that way.
As to the second, I am a lucky person. I share my home and my life with a partner who is not only supportive of this effort, but who thinks it is kind of cool and who brings me plates of healthy food so I won’t live on cereal and popcorn. My children are remarkably independent people, my sister drops her own work to help me with cover ideas, and my job seldom infringes on my free time. It’s true. I’ve been dealt a great a hand. My biggest issues are lack of sleep and lack of exercise, both of which I swear to handle better for the next three novels.
Oh yes, there are three more coming. I’m already so excited about the next one, and I really want to start it tonight, but I promised myself I would get more sleep. So I start it on Saturday. I can’t wait.