I am used to imagining the ways that dragons think and respond to humans, to change, and to challenges. For years, I studied dragon lore and felt the need to write my own story about them, which I did; and while a novel about the dragons that inhabit my mind has been published, I am still writing. Why? Because I have more to say; I have just begun to tell their story. Aurykk, the golden dragon, is calling my name and I answer, but not without feeling some anxiety and hesitation.
Recently, a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association, Andrew Reynolds, posted a blog entry that summarized responses to a question he threw out to the membership: Why [do] we write? His post: “[W]hen the question popped up as part of a discussion about writing among a group of writers I am associated with online, I thought it might be a good idea to see what motivated my fellow writers.” Andrew elicited many writers’ interesting responses, which he published in his January 9, 2015 post. The answers to his question varied, but essentially they recognized that all of the writers needed to write.
I used to think that once I completed and published Malevir: Dragons Return I would feel I’d done it, tried it, liked it, would feel satisfied and move on; but now more than ever I, too, need to keep on writing. Ten thousand words into a second novel, I am committed to another long work, but in many ways, I enjoy the process of writing a blog post more. Here’s why:
A blog is shorter. My most recent novel has more than 400 pages, not including illustrations and glossary.
A blog is pithier. The sentences and paragraphs work at honing one idea. My novels have several themes, like loyalty, finding courage, and cooperation that contrast with themes of fear-mongering, deceit, and oppression.
Blogs focus on the writer, her processes, or her observations and as food blogger and author, David Lebovitz has said so well, blogs are about giving–to the reader. A blog is out there, immediately available to readers (if they choose to read it and, better yet, if they deign to comment on it). The process of publishing a book is long and arduous, at least the first time around.
Novels often explore a set of characters in depth, be they heroes or monsters, and describe their context, their motivations, and their choices as they drive the narrative.
Setting aside time to write a blog post gives me an excuse to put off working on that new novel. When Aurykk calls, I could wad cotton into my ears, say, “nah-nah-nah,” and ignore his trumpeting. That wouldn’t be right. I need to listen to him and write his story, without fear or hesitation. I have learned that much from dragons.