I haven’t talked a lot about my novel-writing lately here, largely because I’ve spent so much of my time this fall either being sad or writing about being sad instead (I’ve been fun!), but what I haven’t told you is this: I’m back to writing, …
I’m sitting at a desk littered with paperwork. I see two planners here (why two?! We’re in a pandemic. WHAT AM I POSSIBLY PLANNING), plus an old grocery list and a messy meal-planning list I’d scratched out on the back of yet another grocery list. …
Hi! Hi! Hi!
It’s the fifth anniversary of the day my debut novel was published (yes this has been a long time no you don’t have to ask me when another one is coming out I AM TRYING). All the Difference had its book birthday on this very day in 2015 and while many, many things have changed since then in both my life and yours and the world’s (OH MY GOSH THE WORLD’S), the one thing that hasn’t changed is this:
Books are fun.
Drafting books is not always as much fun, nor is getting them published consistently a treat, but this–the writing and the reading and the holding a book in our papercut-riddled fingers, whether it’s our own book or someone else’s book, is one of the best feelings in the whole wide world.
Saoirse asked me the other day why, whenever we go to the beach on a family vacation, I don’t go swimming in the ocean as much as I like to sit in a comfy chair next to the ocean. I blinked at her, not sure, until the answer hit me: “Because I can’t read if I’m swimming.”
Saoirse is my daughter, so she understands.
When I think back five years to that whole week I remember a happy blur: seeing my novel in a bookstore for the first time, watching it pop up in readers’ photos on Instagram, launching it out into the world with so many friends and family members–well. Those were some of the best days of my life (Saoirse, being my daughter, and after having been assured that her birthday is one of those best days, too, agrees). I’ve made so many friends–and cemented friendships I already had–through reading and writing, and there’s a good chance that you, reading this now, are one of them (HI!). I know I was lucky to have the very first book I’ve ever written put out in the world, but I also know too well that All the Difference was my “practice book.” (And the second book was the one that will see the light of day one day, maybe, after a hefty edit.) All this means I’ve a better idea what skills I need to hone. Which means I’m excited to keep improving.
(Which means that I really love writing and have missed doing it consistently very, very much.)
I’m back at it this week. I’m nervous and excited and boy, is the house quiet with all the kids back in school. But–BUT–I want to celebrate this big day for my little first book. I’m doing a fun giveaway over on my Facebook page: if you would like to score a signed copy of All the Difference for you or somebody you love with similarly papercut-riddled fingers, I’ll see you there.
Life in 2020 is strange and sad and surreal. But if we keep coming back to what we’re made for–not just our skills, but our families and our purpose and our communities–and if we keep practicing at making those things better, even when we get knocked back, then I think we’ll be okay.
We have to be okay. There are so many more books out there to read, after all.
And I suppose a little more swimming couldn’t hurt, too.
I was talking with my brother, Paul, sister-in-law Sarah, and David this week, when Sarah and I got to chatting about writing. She’s diligent, writing 500 words every morning at her computer before starting her work day, and it impresses me. (She also walks miles …
Today is Cian’s first day of kindergarten. For the first time in ten and a half years, I am alone, left to my own devices, free to use these morning hours for all of the writing work (two books! already started!) I’ve been waiting to do, …