Did You Do Your Homework?

did you do your dating homework

“Marla, are you writing another book?” This is the question that I am asked on a regular basis. I appreciate the interest, and happy that if I do write another book, a few copies will actually sell, but ooohhhh the pressure! When I was in grade school, one of my favorite things to do was to lock myself in my bedroom for the afternoon and work on my poetry and short stories. I would read them to my cat, Kittypaw before finalizing in ink. If my story held her attention, I knew it was pretty good.

These days, I write in my home office. The stories in my head jostle for my attention. My matchmaking clients have to come first since they allow me to avoid standing on the street corner holding a tin cup. I started a book about my days working as a waitress in Chicago in the 90’s. Yes, started…. when you ask? Ten years ago! I got to the halfway point and just put it away. I was stuck. But there were some gems in there. I especially loved one story about a particularly crazy Valentine’s Day at a steakhouse I had the pleasure of working at. I decided that story needed to come out into the open, so I published it as a short story called Amateur Night.

Writing is tough. It can be lonely, it can be tedious, and it can be frustrating. But when you have been bitten by that bug, you’ve been bitten for life. Sort of like a vampire, once bitten, you can never turn back into your old self.

I love this video of Lewis Black on writing a book. He hits the nail on the head when he compares writing a book to having to do homework everyday of your life!

7 thoughts on “Did You Do Your Homework?”

  1. Blanca FoleyBlanca Foley

    If you write romance, join Romance Writers of America and find your local chapter and join that as well. Making connections and friends of other writers is vital, even just for moral support. Take courses where you get one-on-one time with your instructor. Read books about the craft — every big book store or library has a “writing” section. Visit other established writer’s websites and read about their creative process. Get great beta-readers and critique partners you can trust to give you an ‘honest’ opinion. Most importantly, read other novels for the fun of it, and also to analyze what the author did to make their story publishable.

  2. Veronica VincentVeronica Vincent

    Nothing specific inspired the series itself, but the first book Bitten was inspired by an X-Files episode. I was in a writing group, and I’d promised to write and read something new at the next meeting. After a day spent struggling to come up with a story idea, I gave up and sat down to watch X-Files. It was their first-season werewolf episode and, as much as I loved the show, I wasn’t impressed with their take on werewolves — your typical blood-crazed, murdering man-beast. So I decided that would be my story idea — that I’d write something about the kind of werewolves I’d like to see. I wrote a short story about a female werewolf, and liked the idea so much that I eventually developed it into a novel.

  3. Stephanie T. EspinozaStephanie T. Espinoza

    This is the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of structure and craft. I read it several years ago and am still using ideas I gained from it. I don’t really think that anybody can learn to write from reading a book on writing, but I do believe that those, like me, who write for a living day after day need the wisdom and inspiration of really fine writers like Jon Franklin. The annotated text for his feature story on brain surgery is worth a college course.

  4. Kelly MartinKelly Martin

    Oh I LIKE THIS! Yes it is like doing homework, I keep slacking! However, I probably write more than I ever did my homework so that is one good thing. Thanks for your connection on twitter.

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