WRITER’S BLOCK: THE GREAT MYTH

Connie Fischer asked this question a few weeks ago: “I have enjoyed reading your books and love how the writing always flows so smoothly and keeps my interest all the way through. For your writing to have that effect on me, I have to ask if you’ve ever had writer’s block?

This may be a bit harsh toward other writers, and of course I can only really speak for myself, but I think the whole idea of writer’s block is a big myth. There is no such thing; it is just a fancy term for lack of discipline.

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I could say yes to the question every single day when I am working on a book, and I don’t exaggerate. No matter how well the story flowed yesterday and how eager I was then for today to come so that I could continue, today, now, my mind is blank. I don’t know where to start or how to start, and the whole story is rubbish, and I hate all the characters, and I have a load of washing to put in, and I should check my Facebook page to see how many people have “liked” my newest post, and–well, I really need a cup of coffee, and while I am up…..  If I give in to any of these daily urges,I may eventually decide that it is too late to do any writing today and I need to get my thoughts in order anyway. And the loss of one day is not really catastrophic. I’ll write double my quota tomorrow. The only trouble is that tomorrow I will go through exactly the same thing. No, not the same–worse. By tomorrow my confidence in the book will have been shaken by my doubts today. And soon I will convince myself that I have writer’s block and that will be a huge consolation because that is a genuine affliction and everyone will sympathize with me.

Now what I should have done on that very first day, and what I actually do ninety-nine-and-a-half times out of a hundred, is sit there in front of my computer and work on my mind until I can focus in. Often it is incredibly difficult to do because my mind (like most other people’s) is totally scattered. It flits over everything except the task in hand. Focusing in is a sort of pre-meditation exercise. I have no secret to how to do it and no formula. It is just a discipline, I think. I force my mind to narrow down to my two main characters. If possible, I hop right in to the mind of one of them and live the particular point in the story he/she has reached. I feel their feelings. And then I start writing. I can recall someone (I can’t remember who) at a conference many years ago telling the audience that when you can’t think how to begin your writing you should write anyway. It sounds totally absurd, but it works. Writing is my natural medium (more natural than talking). When I start to write, ideas flow and words come. Each day after I have wrestled with my demons (some days are worse than others) I get on with the story until my daily quota is done. These years that is 2000 words.

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Actually getting started, though, does not always mean moving ahead with the story. If that were so, I would be able to write a complete book in 50 days–my books are 100, 000 words long and I write seven days a week. In fact, they take on average four months or 120+ days. Sometimes that feeling that the story is rubbish and the characters rotten persists to a degree that I know there is something definitely wrong with what I have already written. Or sometimes the feeling returns quite powerfully after I have labored onward with some actual writing. Experience has taught me that I must stop–but not to go put that load of wash in, etc. I turn immediately back to page 1 and read through to find the problem. Occasionally it is in the plot. Usually it is in the characters. A number of people have asked me questions about character and I intend to devote a whole blog to answering those, maybe next time. But I will say here that since my stories are all told through the eyes and minds of the hero and heroine (alternately), I have to know them to the depth I know myself. And that understanding is not easy and does not come all at once. They always have layer upon layer of secrets that they give up to me only with great reluctance. And with each new discovery I have to go back through the whole story and make the necessary adjustments. Until I know everything, the story won’t work.

Writing requires a great deal of thought, of working things out like a puzzle, of making sure everything hangs together, that every detail is consistent with the rest, that the whole thing is plausible. Writing is hard work. That does not mean it is unpleasant. Quite the contrary. But no matter how well the story seems to flow when the finished book is in a reader’s hand, the writing of it is a bit like constantly sanding a very rough board until it is smooth enough to leave no slivers and to show no sign of the constant grind of the sander. There is too much to be done to allow for such nonsense as writer’s block! Focus in. Think. Write. As one writer friend of mine is fond of saying, “Butt on chair, fingers on keyboard.” A teacher can’t just walk out of the classroom at the start of a class claiming teacher’s block (though her students might be delighted). A surgeon can’t walk out of the operating room when the patient is anesthetized, claiming surgeon’s block. A bricklayer can’t….  Well, you get the message.

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To one person who leaves a comment below before the end of April I will send a signed copy of THE PROPOSAL. The winner last time was Tai Smith. Congratulations to her and thanks to everyone who left a comment. I always love reading them.

99 thoughts on “WRITER’S BLOCK: THE GREAT MYTH

    • Your posts are really fascinating. I often wonder about the process of writing and marvel at your ability to create the characters and the world they live in. The best authors (and in my opinion, you are one of the very best!) allow me to live in the world and in the characters’ heads while I read. It’s really interesting that you are able to sit and focus and allow the creativity to take over. Thanks for sharing some of the process with us.

  1. As a relatively new would-be writer (at the age of 70) I’m very encouraged by your post – and love the cartoons, by the way. A few years ago, I read a small book called “Write is a Verb” – which got me started and helped turn down the volume of the whines, moans, and nasty critics in my head. I am always looking for your latest book – they’ve been my favourites since I began reading historical romances. Your heroes are so beautifully/terribly flawed, and your heroines so believable and challenged – I’m lost in the books! Cheers from a fan out here in the internet world. – Celia

  2. Well I already lost but it was worth a shot. I looked for a new book every time I go shopping. Sadly I live in a small town so it takes a year before I see a new one of yours. I have 2 young kids at home all day so I guess this saves me the frustration of numerous interruptions lol

    • Oh I so agree! I love being swept away in Mary’s books. I’ve been reading them for as long as I can remember and when I finish a book I worry about the characters. The only other author that left me feeling this way is Jane Austen. So that’s saying a lot

  3. What a great article. I adore your books and I can not believe that they take you only 4 months. I would agonize and it would take me years. Thank you for continuing to write! I always love your stories. You are one of a handful of authors I read still, I have slowed down my consumption due to starting a new business. I will remember your words on writer’s block as I get distracted easily…..

  4. I totally agree with what you say. My problem is that I can never quite get over the need to check facebook or my sales figures. I will however make myself hit the word count every day and do things like Camp Nano so it piques my competitive nature.

    I am beginning to wish I had such a good discipline when it comes to reading.

  5. I have to leave a comment, not as a chance to win a book, but to express my deepest gratitude for this post. I “suffer” from the same thing, just like I have for the past few months. I kept telling myself I was blocked, but now you’ve inspired me to keep going. Time is wasting away when I could be writing. If I want solitude, then I just have to seek it out. It’s really that simple. It really is an encouragement, and I hope soon I will have that extra chapter I need to add to the book already written out. 🙂 I’m actually in the process of going back to read the whole thing to figure out what’s missing. We have to make sure there are no plot holes! Everything has to fit into place, make sense and flow smoothly for readers to enjoy. 🙂 Thank you so much for this! You really are my inspiration!

  6. Mary, you have a Wonderful Gift of telling a story and helping us to lose ourselves for a couple of hours.
    I Thank you for that!!

  7. There was this author who said that he sat down every workday from 8 am to 4 pm in front of his computer, and anybody who does that will eventually write something. It confirms your ideas about self discipline.
    As a reader, I appreciate when writers take their time to think, go back, rewrite and present us with quality material. I prefer to wait longer and get a better book (don’t hesitate to show this comment to your publisher ;))

  8. I am an aspiring writer that is always either reading romance novels, or attemptingb to write my own. Your books are always a wonderful addition to my ever growing library. I too work through the rough spots and refocus my mind by rereading and continuing to write instead of walking away. This blog post speaks the writer in me in many levels. God Bless and please continue to share your beautifulb talents with us.

  9. I so enjoy your books and I am currently reading the one I won from the blog on freshfiction.com A Counterfeit Betrothal/ The Notorious Rake. I enjoyed the Slightly and Simply series as well as the Huxtable series.. I know that writers block is a very serious thing but I know that you will do what you have to in order to get past this moment. I just read on another authors site that she does 5 work note cards to get past parts in her writing, maybe that might help. Best wishes and can’t wait to see the end product. Thank you for such wonderful stories to entertain me.

  10. My grandmother always said, “Do something even if it isn’t right. ” I think this is good advice whether you’re writing or working or doing laundry. The act of moving creates momentum. You may have to come back & rewrite, but at least you’ve done something. Inertia us hard to overcome, so don’t just sit there.

  11. I am so sorry for the struggles, but so very grateful for the wonderful results. Your devotion to your work results in stories which move readers to laughter or tears. Rather like childbirth, and not quite so messy. Thank you for this explanation.

  12. I for one am glad that you have the discipline to make yourself focus on the task at hand! I have read so many of your books and I still have many left in my library to read. I love when my hardest decision of the day is “which book shall I start today!”. Thank you for your efforts in getting those thoughts and images on paper.

  13. I absolutely love your stories. I have always wanted to write a book so blogs like this are really inspiring. Your characters have always seemed so real to me. Like you mentioned, I always enjoy finding out their secrets and witnessing them opening up to each other, peeling back layers.You
    are a wonderful writer and story teller. Thank you for the opportunity to be able to read your books and take myself away for a while.

  14. I love reading your books! I can’t allow myself to start one until I know I will have the necessary time to finish it in one sitting. I know once I start reading it I WON’T put it down until I’m done. Thank you.

  15. I agree that it normally isn’t a case of Writer’s Block–at least it’s not for me. For me, it’s a lack of discipline and a overly-inflated dose of procrastination. Starting a new year this month, with our wedding anniversary and will do my best to get into a routine. Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

  16. I’m easily distracted in my retirement… ah heck, I’ve always been easily distracted… I think the self-discipline to ‘sit & stay’ to write must be a learned response that is practiced daily to keep that muscle strong!! I love your books and my only wish would be to clone your ‘writer self’ so I could have more to read!!

  17. Mary, I am a huge fan, Thanks for illustrating your struggles with writing.Your persistence pays off and we get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. I love how you say, keep going back and focus. I also like how you describe our very human nature to procrastinate, and get sidetracked. Yet you persist, and I guess after so many books, there is comfort in knowing that you have done it before and will do it again. The process you describe is highly personal, yet you also give hope to those out there who desire to be successful authors. Thank you for the small insight in your process of writing. Please don’t stop as I really enjoy getting lost in the lovely workds you create in your books.

  18. I only write fanfiction but I found this post to be so encouraging. I’m guilty of sitting at my laptop and fiddling away my time and before I realize it, the evening is gone and I’m frustrated at how little I accomplished.

    I love your blog, Mary. It’s as wonderful to read as your books.

  19. I am not a writer but I thoroughly enjoy your writing. I recently found you on Facebook and happily share some of your posts with my family. Especially my sister who writes books on teaching to kids and ESL books for teachers of ESL. She also consistently beats me at Scrabble. However that makes a win all the sweeter…lol.
    Thank you for many hours of escapism!

  20. Hmm… I saw a post on facebook to leave a comment here but I have to admit I have never read your books. If your intention were just to give away one of your books, well you may gain new fans also… Intrigued.

    • I blog mainly because I like to interact with readers, Juanita. If I also pick up new readers, well that is a pleasant bonus.

  21. Dear Mary,
    Thank goodness for your discipline and perseverance – and your imagination.
    You’ve been on my auto-buy list ever since I read Lord Carew’s Bride in English.
    I look foward to reading The Escape.
    All the best,
    Ina

  22. Thanks for not just writing, but also for blogs, posts, etc. Love that you do not get “writer’s block” 🙂

  23. I know just what you mean. I get housework block. So I decide to take a break and have a cup of tea and read “just one chapter” and the next thing I know it’s two hours later and my back hurts from sitting in the same position.

    I’ll work on that discipline thing. (smile)

  24. Although I have never written more than long essays and short stories, I can say that writer’s block does exist, to a point. I find myself thinking about what I am going to write far longer than the actual writing. For me, thinking about what I want to write before going to bed is valuable. I also have a notebook right next to the bed, as I often awake in the night with an inspiration. Sometimes that inspiration is great and sometimes it does not hold up in the morning light. Once I actually sit down to write, with my notes and scribbles, I usually write for hours on end. The ideas flow. Then I put it aside for at least a day.
    I would love to write something like a novel at some point. Time will tell if it happens.

  25. I know a number of authors and one of them that is a good friend asked why I did not try to write. I told her that after seeing the pressures they are under, I would just stick to selling books and reading. Thank you, Mary, for your wonderful works.

  26. I have been a fan of your wonderful stories for years and I love to share them. Hearing a little bit about your process is fascinating.

  27. Even if you do get writer’s block you know how to overcome it! Your books are fantastic! I wouldn’t have writer’s block…..I’d have a writer’s cave in!! I’m not good with words and writing isn’t a forte of mine but I love reading your books!! Keep up the good work!

  28. Mary,
    The only reason I have not read all of your books is I am stilling looking for copies of the older ones as I didn’t discover your writing until 5 years ago. I am glad to see that some are being republished. I liked your comments about writer’s block, it can really be applied to any task in life! However, I wondered if you every totally abandoned a hero or story line because it just didn’t work?

    • Yes, once, Kathy. When I started SLIGHTLY SCANDALOUS, I tried to pair up Freyja Bedwyn with Sydnam Butler. I wrote one third of the book and then rewrote it before being forced to admit that they didn’t belong together. I had to find another hero and another story for Freyja, and then I went on to write Sydnam’s story in SIMPLY LOVE.

  29. Can’t wait to hear you at the convention Spring Fling. I am just a reader but I expect the presentation on Alpha and Beta Heroes and Heroines will be interesting. I enjoy reading what you say about how you write and am hoping one of my questions get answered in your blog. mary

  30. Very interesting blog. Love your analogy at the end, and am glad you are such a disciplined writer so that we readers can look forward to your books with regularity.

    The key to anything is discipline and a plan. I can relate to an earlier comment about trying to be disciplined to read. About eight years ago, I decided that I had wasted too much time “not reading” because my life was so busy, and I kept waiting for enough time to “get into a book”. After realizing I would never get what I considered the necessary time, I promised myself I would read at least 25 pages a night. That seemed doable, but discipline was the key. Now, hundreds of books later, I find myself anxiously awaiting new releases by my favorite authors. Thanks again for what you do!

  31. I have heard similar thoughts from other excellent writers, including Isaac Asimov who was noted for publishing more than 500 books in his lifetime of work. How did he so it? he was asked. He replied that he got up every day and wrote. Glad to hear you have the same dedication!

  32. The speed with which you write makes for a very tight and coherent story line. I think the longer a book takes the more chance of the ideas and plot going astray and I have seen this many times with other authors. Your books always flow beautifully and connect with their predecessors. I am also in awe of your self discipline, my mirror for that is I read the books with the same dedication and will not put them down until finished, even at 4am when the alarm goes off at 7. Thanks Mary!

  33. The eloquent way you described what you should do as opposed to what you can blame was great. To be an author must be in turns great and terrible. I applaud your writings, all of them because they are honest reflections of you!

  34. Ms. Raleigh, I have been reading your books for a few years. I have certain authors that I will read one or two of their books and move on. Then there are those couple of special writers that catch my breath with the first page. My breath gets taken away over and over again until I get to the dreaded last page of the story. I love to see a new title come out. I recently sent you a message on Facebook, and I was SO surprised and thrilled that you actually replied! You stated that you hoped that you could keep entertaining me. Know that begrudgingly publish a new book, I will be eagerly be waiting on it come out. Thank you for the joy you give me underwriting!

  35. Mary
    I thank God every day that you continue to write. That is so comforting to your loyal readers! One of my favorite authors retired and never wrote another book. Two others stopped writing romance and moved to mystery. What a disappointment. Another very talented writer has yet to put out her next book…I’ve been waiting for that book for over a year now..no book in sight. So you are a true gem, Mary, and all your readers know that! Thank you for your discipline. You bring so many hours of reading enjoyment to all your fans.

  36. I like how you reframed “writer’s block.” Your view of it gives the writer control instead of a sense of helplessness. Bravo!

  37. Ms Balogh,
    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your amazing imagination with the rest of us! I especially love it when you have a series of books because you can continue to develop the characters in each book! Again thank you for allowing us the chance to enjoy your gift with words!
    Lucy BC

  38. I find you very inspirational. Your dedication and desire to write great stories is to be commended. Your stories flow and your depth in your characters pulls in the reader. Thank you for sharing your struggles and how to resolve them. I.appreciate your help and the joy your books bring to all. Melody

  39. Excellent points! Thank you. I often sit down to write with no topic at hand but once my hands are on the keyboard, something comes. I don’t use that day all of what comes but realize that too is part of the creative process. After all, a growing tree needs pruning but you can’t do it without being at the tree!

  40. Loved the blog topic. There is no doubt in my mind that the most prolific of writers are the ones who are disciplined enough to sit down each day and write, whether the ‘muse’ takes them or not. Excellent advice, thank you!

  41. This is why I will always be a great reader, but not a great writer! I was a calligrapher. Someone watching me script said I made it look so easy. Actually it took years of practice. Mary, you make writing look easy, but we know better.
    Thanks for the great blog!

  42. I’ve done a lot of writing in my life usually on a tight deadline, so writer’s block is not an option. Like many others I’ve found if I just start writing, the words start to flow and I go back and fix what I don’t like when I’m done with the story. Discipline is hard, but so necessary when you’re a writer, and that goes for whatever you’re writing, fiction or non-fiction, articles or short stories. I have to admit, sitting in front of a black page or screen is intimidating.

  43. My struggle is much the same as yours. I never give up and will figure out what’s wrong. I do, however, put in that load of laundry. As I do, I am working it out in my head, discovering why the scene isn’t flowing. When I solve the problem, it is so very exciting. So….I don’t believe in writer’s block either. I do sympathize with people who can’t write because they don’t feel it’s good enough to work hard on. I’ve had those moments, but now I push through them. It may not be good enough, and that is why God invented revision!

  44. I thoroughly enjoy all of your books; they usually start a little slower to really get the characters developed (which I like), but there isn’t just an abrupt (well, I hit my word count) end of the book.
    I homeschool, and am working on getting my son to write more. One of his curriculums has a section where you start to write and it is to simply sit and write for 5 minutes a day, even if it is just “I hate to write”; after a few days, that will change to something you actually want to write, but that original sitting down is the hardest part for him.
    I look forward to more of your book, and wish you continued good luck with all of your writing. 🙂

  45. I agree with your comment about writer’s block being mostly lack of discipline. Research (not professional research, mind you, just looking around and seeing some articles) tells me that the mind is able to work creatively when we remove distractions. So the first thing is to have a place that we are used to, and that is just for that task. Then it is helpful to have a routine that helps us settle in. That includes a certain time of day. So we are accustomed to sitting down and the desk looks this way and the light slants across it in this way, and we have our cup of tea and the quiet or our favorite music, and before too many days go by, we find that just having those things in place is enough to get the creative juices flowing. The mind is ready. Routine and discipline contribute to one another, and freeing the physical space from distraction is important to freeing the mind from distraction.

    Please keep it up, Mary! There aren’t very many romance authors I can count on to have good stories, but you are one of them!

  46. How interesting to find out you originally planned to put Freyja and Sydham together. Their stories (Freyja in Slightly Scandaloous) and (Sydham in Simply Love) are two of my favorites. It is hard to imagine Sydham and Freyja together.

    Rebecca E.

  47. What a fascinating blog post. I think a lot of your points can be applied to any task, not just writing. All of us have things in our work or home lives we know we need to do but would rather avoid. And tackling it head-on is usually the best way to address that! So seeing it applied to your writing is really interesting.

  48. You are my NEW favorite author! I have fallen in love with your Mistress series. The way you write about the characters is so crystal clear I can see them in my mind’s eye as I read the story. I love how you mingle the various characters into other story lines. I LOVE Constantine Huxtable! Your women are soft as steel and your men are the protectors of innocence, love, and family. I find myself easily getting carried away with each twist and turn the story takes me. I find myself arching my brow when the hero or heroine does too. Again the ease of your writing is so capturing that I find myself getting up at 4 a.m. just to finish the book before I have to come back to reality and get ready for work. I am so glad I found your books and can’t wait to read the many others that are just waiting for me!

  49. I agree. Whenever I finally open the file and skim the outline or what has gone before, there are always words. I work full-time, and I’ve just started my masters, so getting words on the page does offer some challenges.

    My current goal is a minimum of 500 pages every day. It’s a wimpy goal, but it’s so ridiculously accessible I can actually force myself to do it. If it was 1000, I know I’d convince myself I just don’t have time. Mind games with myself! 😉

  50. I agree that it is not usual for people to truly focus. My mind is always working, and it takes discipline to focus enough to complete a mental task. Thank you for writing about thought and focus.

  51. Thank you for being on Facebook and your blogs. I love reading and often wish I could sit down and write a book, but I admire all writers. I have several writers on Facebook and most of you all say the same thing about how your characters are real in your mind and how they want there story told. Please keep writing, I really enjoy your work.

  52. Dear Mrs Balogh,
    thank you so very much for your writing. I am no native-speaker and do hope you will understand at least half of what I’m saying. But then, I’ll keep it short.
    I had your page bookmarked basically because of your publishing list, so I could buy the books in right order. Now, I discovered your blog, I am quite fascinated. You definitely have a skill on words, it’s a pleasure reading every single one of them.
    Hope to get some more of your works soon!

  53. Ha, I just read upthread about Freya & Sydnam. Very interesting. I love finding out those behind-the-scenes tidbits 🙂

  54. Was it Isaac Asimov who said that all a person had to do was write one page a day and at the end of a year, he’d have a book? IA clearly shared your idea about discipline– but I’m *so* glad you write more than a page a day! I agree with you both, generally, although I do think that sometimes a touch of writer’s block can indicate a brain working so hard at sorting out aspects of plot or characterization that there are no synapses left over for typing– sort of an altered state of consciousness that strongly resembles staring blankly but isn’t, the stare being inwardly focused. And that reminds me of another of my favorite quotes about writing which claims that it is the art of staring at an empty computer screen until beads of blood break out on the forehead. I wish I could remember who said it and when, because I suspect it was long enough ago that the quote referenced a blank sheet of paper….

  55. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced writer’s block yet, but I’ve only been writing for about 7 years. When I write myself into a box canyon, I just back out a little and ride away. When I come back in I’m generally able to find a hidden trail … you may have guessed, I write westerns. I’ve found that writing to be one of the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

  56. Reading what you write has inspired me to write. I have always loved to write, to create characters to live in their shoes and even to act as them. I am also a painter. I love to paint and write and teach others to open into the process of CREATIVITY! For we are all born as creative beings with the power to create the world we live in together . The distracting voice in my head is what I call the sabateur. Wanting to sabatage us keeping us from our greatness and power!! I say no no no I am on a mission of creativity let me be.

  57. I’m looking forward to reading “The Escape”. I appreciate all the time and effort you and your publishers spend on your books, because they are awesome!!!

  58. So what you’re saying is if I stand behind you and pretend to be intimidating I can persuade you to write your next book so fast I can barely keep up? You are getting my hopes up! LOL I can’t wait to read the next book.

  59. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will. – Vince Lombardi
    Reading your blog and reading this quote from Lombardi really, really inspired me a lot. As you have said, discipline need not just apply to writers but even to us ordinary, ho-hum office workers. If you are just like me, then I can picture you with a long-list of to-do’s on your organizer with the corresponding deadline dates. We tend to procrastinate until the last hour as we know that I can do that report in an hour. I know you are very competent with your job and you can even do it in blindfold, however, if you are aiming for a chair in your office upper floor then skills and talents alone will not bring you closer to your goal.
    What we need is the will, the drive to reach for what you want and of course, discipline to sustain it.
    So check that to-do list again and bust it out. Now!

  60. I love/read all your books and have most of them!

    I got on line today to find out when the
    3rd book in your latest series comes out
    (July) and was delighted to hear there is
    a 4th due in November and a fifth in the
    works! You go girl! I can hardly wait!
    I need to check her more often! My daughters
    and granddaughter share my books with me
    and love you too!

    You are the best of my favorite authors!

    • Thank you, Veronica. Book 5, Ralph’s story and still untitled, is written and due out in May, 2015. I am about to start Book 6, Imogen’s story.

  61. I love/read all your books and have most of them!

    I got on line today to find out when the
    3rd book in your latest series comes out
    (July) and was delighted to hear there is
    a 4th due in November and a fifth in the
    works! You go girl! I can hardly wait!

    I need to check here more often!

    My daughters and granddaughter share my books with me and love you too!

    You are my favorite author!

  62. I enjoy your books, especially the series, and have really enjoyed following you on Facebook. You post some fun stuff. I am bent that I have moved away from Chicago to Atlanta so will have to miss the signing. Is that the RWA convention? Good luck! I’m off to the library.

  63. I have fallen in love with all of your books. I would purchase one and then it would get passed around the office. The next would come out and get passed around etc. I have the best dog-eared collection of your books on my shelf. Then my husband purchased my Kindle for Christmas a few years ago. The girls in the office were so mad. “How will we read Mary’s books?” Uh.. support her and buy your own copies? Needless to say my entire staff loves your books.We often discuss (sometimes loudly) the heroes and heroines, plot lines, and whether we think the story is on track or how we would change it. I love reading your blogs. Great information for us procrastinators. Keep the books coming!!

  64. First I want to follow you second share you third your blog is great astounding jocular in advance of novel perspectives

  65. Thanks for the encouraging blog about writing. I would suggest that you write a book about the craft of writing because your blogs about that have been so useful, but I would not want to distract you from writing your wonderful novels.

  66. I love the cartoon with the gun to the head! That’s also what I need to sit at my computer and work on my transcripts. I’m a court reporter. I’d rather be reading books, or I get distracted by housework or pet or family needs. I need more of your discipline!

  67. Thank you so much for these inspiring words! I write for pleasure, but am easily distracted. I sometimes liken myself to “Doug”, the dog in the film “Up”….(“SQUIRREL!!”). Mindfulness is so important in any creative, spiritual endeavor, including writing.

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