“So, what are you working on now in your writing?” When I was asked this question early in January, my first reaction was a frisson of guilt. I’m a writer, I SHOULD be writing. I hadn’t sat down at my computer and turned out any essays, short stories, or memoir pieces in four weeks. Not a one. And yet I was able to flick the guilt away as inappropriate… because I’ve been gathering ideas like mad, adding scenes to stories, and as my writer friend Mary Gayle Nash says, “I write them in my head first.”
I’ve spent more time talking with and to writers in the last few weeks than I have writing. And that’s where the ideas have popped up like so many fireworks we saw on New Year’s Eve even though it was snowing in Tucson.
Listening to writers around the Eastside Writing Table as we state our intentions for the day. Listening to writers state their writing goal for the New Year at the Atria Creative Writing Group. Mentally saying, “I can see it” as I heard Kalli Deschamps talk about her life on a farm, a way of life as distant for me as Antarctica is from Tucson. I want to be able to do that.
Meeting Susan Peterson, a local mystery writer, and wondering what the elements are to write a really good mystery. Agatha Christie had a successful formula. I never get tired of reading her books. Wouldn’t my writing group make a wild cast of characters for a mystery? Could an idyllic town like my childhood haven of Miller Place also harbor a mystery?
My writing colleagues keep me motivated, inspired, “jazzed” about writing. They also keep me in the loop with social media, local events, and the mysteries of Twitter. Writing may be a solitary activity, but being with writers is a blast.
Check my events page to join me in the company of writers. https://etheleemiller.com/events/