My novel is very slowly taking shape, but the process is more painful than I had anticipated. I knew it would be hard work. I mean, if it wasn't everyone would have a novel floating around. Wealthy celebrities wouldn't have to pay people to write books for them. Every wannabe author would have a manuscript under their bed. The market would be flooded with book after book and it would be even more impossible to get published. It is difficult enough to get published, so I guess its a good thing writing is hard work.
My biggest problem is lack of time. I work 50 to 60 hours a week and that eats the biggest piece of my time pie. Television eats a large chunk too. I am picky about what I watch, but I have my favorite shows that I want to see. Most of them fuel my writing. I lean towards the fantastic, the scientific, and the well written. Fringe, Lost, Better Off Ted, Community, Bones, and Glee fill up my DVR. Netflix brings me the joys of Dresden Files, Buffy, Angel, and other long lost series. My wife collects others. Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, Stargate, Firefly, and WonderFalls fill shelves and make their way to the dvd player regularly. I have a hard time cutting them all out. I know. I am weak.
My other problem is that writing uses completely different parts of my brain than my usual day to day living. I have to tap into memory, science, and creativity at the same time. Most of my day is spent dealing with angry guests, filling out spreadsheets, answering phones, and email. It takes time to shift out of that mindset and into the proper frame of mind to write. Time that is already short. This blog helps. Writing is the fastest way I have found to make the switch. You start and your brain begins to lean in the write direction. I can't start right in on my novel though. The shift makes my first couple paragraphs...well...makes them garbage. They don't work. My blog lets me babble for a little while and ya'll don't seem to mind too much if my first paragraph or two are not beautifully crafted. Thank you for that.
Another problem with writing a novel is keeping everything straight. "Keep it simple stupid" has never been my motto. My first attempt at tiling, I took on the entire bath surround using 4 types of tile and putting in two niches. Let's put a giant orange stripe down my living room wall. Let's refinish all the cupboards in my kitchen. Let's rewire all the lights in the kitchen and run speaker and ethernet throughout the house while I crawl around in the attic. I don't go for simple. I do things the way I want to. My novel follows suit. It is going to be large, complex, and follow many characters back and forth between two worlds. It is going to include an interesting take on magic that includes some scientific explanations. It will bridge two genres as it explores genetics, theoretical physics, magic, subatomic particles, dragons, holograms, elves, quantum computing, and dwarves. I have to create a world where these things can exist, making up names as I go. My brain may very well explode soon and you will all cry. I am sure you would.
These are my roadblocks. Like it or not, most of them are my own fault. I chose to go into the hotel business. I chose to watch too much television. I chose to create my debt that chains me to my job. I chose my characters and the worlds they live in. I chose to redesign my home. I chose to write. I choose to keep writing. My story is good, my characters are real and believable, my novel is fricken fantastic. In truth, I don't have much choice. I will write. I have to.