Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, photo by Sarah Reck, August 2014

In Need of a Little Magic

Sometimes as a writer I feel like I need a magic wand to swish and flick so I can finish something instantaneously. Or I need some version of a Harry Potter pensieve that takes my thoughts, imagines them for me, and gives them words. Having the idea is never a problem for me. Putting the idea on paper is.

Something gets lost in translation from my brain to my fingers or the pen. My imagination isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s my vocabulary. Maybe it’s my ability to string words into proper sentences. I don’t know. What I do know is that writing would be much easier if I could skip the, well, writing step.

I’ve tried to combat this with the magic of technology. You see, I do some of my best writing while driving, which is a real shame because driving is the absolute last place where multi-tasking is advisable. So I’ve taken to Google voice-ing every now and again. It just doesn’t work seamlessly. I can’t figure out how to input punctuation or quotation marks or even line breaks. Half the time it doesn’t understand the word I’ve said so when I finally look at it, it appears as though I’ve written in some code that needs to be translated. But the worst of it is that Google voice doesn’t just stay on until I shut it off. I could be talking and really into a scene but for the last minute, it didn’t record. And of course I don’t know that until I’m safely at a stop light. It’s less magic and more a compromise running on 50%.

Writing for me isn’t always a laborious process though finding the time to write is. Here’s another piece of magic I could use: a time turner to be in two places as once. I get my best writing done between about 9am and noon. Five days out of the week I’m at work, so you can guess what I’m not doing. If I could double up that time, take the first shift for writing and the second for my job, things could get done a lot faster.

But where I really want magic to come in is with the whole publishing thing. Wave a wand, say the charm, and poof! published author. None of this self esteem ruining querying. None of this thinking that even though I’ve tried a handful of times it’s just never going to happen because I’m not good enough. And the worst is that querying is just step one. Then an editor has to like it. Then a publishing team. Then the sales team. Then a bookseller buyer. Then the general public! And I simply can’t Imperio them all and make them like my book!

The real magic of writing is in patience and time and putting pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboards). I’m not at 100% with that magic. I’m probably not even at 50%. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stretch out and take every morsel of magic that shimmers my way. Maybe it’ll help me out in the end.

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