Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson

“I’m a writer.”


I spend a lot of time thinking about my answer when someone asks me what I do.

“I’m a writer.”

Does that hold true when I’m not writing? I mean… since my dad died in July I’ve been at such a creative low. I hate to blame it on emotional impact from Dad’s passing. Maybe I’ve just been lazy. Maybe I’ve been lacking in inspiration. Sure, I forced my way through NaNoWriMo just to say I did it, but I pretty much hated what I wrote and for the first time never promised to revise a NaNo novel.

I’m not afraid of hard work. I do it all the time. Excuse me while I delve off into the personal here but calling oneself a writer sooner or later involves baring who and what you are to the world. When I think of what keeps me busiest during the day inevitably I fall back on being the primary social contact for an often lovely (but sometimes not) 96-year-old, who I try to visit at least five times a week. Zing, there goes my day. I also try to stay moderately heart-healthy by getting cardio exercise every other day and by cooking vegetarian food, which is a labor of love but also a time-consuming one. (Q: how many ways can you prepare vegetables? A: so many.) I have other artistic pursuits besides writing: drawing, photography, beadwork, needlework. They are all solitary pursuits that can’t be done simultaneously.

I need a clone.

As far as writing goes, it hasn’t been something I’ve been able to simply squeeze into the nooks and crannies of my life. I do it best when I set aside dedicated time to do it. It also works best for me when I do it first thing during the day. Guess what else works best for me when I do it first thing during the day? Exercise. If only I could do both at the same time, but I can’t. I can read when I ride the stationary bike, so I make a point of doing that.

Today I set aside everything else for working on my book. I didn’t know that would be today’s plan, but it has been. I woke up, got my computer, and sat down to work on the thorny action scene I’ve been avoiding. The avoidance wasn’t because I don’t know how to write action scenes–this book is filled with them. It had just become, in my mind, that one more thing that needed doing and I started resenting it.

It really wasn’t that bad. I sat in my favorite most productive writing spot in the sun surrounded by cats and simply went for it.

Now I can pat myself on the back because I got it done, and fixed up the rest of the manuscript to reflect the changes I’d made. For the first time in almost a year I’m starting to get the motivation to query again. I’ve got a letter and a good synopsis, but I need a few brand-new readers first because now I’m sworn to querying only when I believe this book is really, truly ready.


Author: G.L. Jackson

Writer, reader, amateur photographer. Mostly, I just like pretending to be a different person each day of the week.

2 thoughts on ““I’m a writer.”

  1. Maybe you need a coach.

    I’m going to start coaching, but I’m not a “get your next book published” coach. It sounds like you need one of those. Or a mentor.

    Hmm…. I don’t think I know any fiction writers beside you who are published by a larger publishing house, but I know some poetry writers, one Ethelbert Miller is famous in DC for his poetry if you want to look him up on Facebook and tell him “Zahdi” sent you, lol.



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