Making Things Up: a new blog series about the creative process
I haven’t blogged for Slushies in ages – sorry! One of the reasons – the main one, really – is because I’d hit a point where I felt like I didn’t have anything useful to say to aspiring writers, our original target audience.
Note: please keep reading even if you fit another category – as a blog, we’ve grown!
|A visual representation of all these worries|
But earlier this year, I had one of those eureka moments. It’s a two-parter.
Eureka 1: I’m a writer!
That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anybody else, but soon after Mind Games - my fourth book - came out, my perspective on it all finally shifted. I stopped thinking that any second now someone would tap me on the shoulder and tell me to quit faking it and go away, and started – finally – to accept that this is who and what I am, and that there was a fair chance it could work out in the long term.
|Inside my brain at the time|
I even started to admit it sometimes, like to taxi drivers when they asked why I was in Edinburgh (the book festival), or waitresses when they asked why I was visiting Killin (research for a book).
Eureka 2: I love writing!
Despite the moments of pain that go along with it, I’ve always loved writing. I hope I always will. But the combination of deadlines and worrying about loads of stuff I have no control over was taking the shine off the fact that I have my dream job, and this is completely daft. And even more: there was something about writing that I was missing, and it was important.
And so, I decided two things:
1. I’m going to write stuff just for fun now and then, even if there are other things I should be doing, even if it is probable that what I’m playing with will never be published. This was the thing I was really missing from my pre-published days: that joy of playing around with words, just for fun, without any reason beyond because I want to. The muse needs to cut loose sometimes! And a happy muse means a happy writer.
2. And perhaps I do have something useful to say to readers of this blog, but not the kind of things I’ve visited before. Writing is by far the most important part of being a writer. It sounds so obvious, but looking at the many courses and conferences aimed at writers, it is easy to see why the business side of things - pitching, contracts, publicity, on line platforms etc etc - seem overwhelmingly important. And so I’m starting a blog series about writing – bits and pieces of (hopefully) useful insight into my take on the creative process. I may even quote from recently-re-read-and-always-adored Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones now and then.
In fact one bit of that is so important, I'm going to put it in a box, and maybe even put it in a large font and add an excessive number of exclamation marks:
!!!Writing is by far the most important part of being a writer!!!Next in this Making Things Up series, I'm going to write a post about getting started.
Coming sometime in October if all our Slushie scheduling goes to plan!
And now for some news...
The first thing I played around with and wrote just for fun was a novella, a sequel to Mind Games. Mind Games was meant to be a standalone, but after it came out last March, it kept niggling away, and eventually I stopped telling myself not to waste my time when I should be doing other stuff, and I sat down and wrote an uncontracted, unasked-for sequel, Dangerous Games. Then I said, surprise! and sent it off to my publisher and agent.
And the thing I really didn’t expect for something so outside the box? It is going to be published. Dangerous Games will be an ebook with Orchard Books, out in December.
About the Author
Teri Terry is also the author of the award winning, internationally best selling Slated trilogy - Slated, Fractured and Shattered. Mind Games was out in March, Dangerous Games will be in December, and Book of Lies in March 2016. After that is the Dark Matter trilogy, which she should be writing right now instead of doing this, but Candy told her to. She's not always this obedient.