Chomping at the Bit

November 7, 2007

Wytheville, VA, 7:39 pm

Yeah, I’m still on the road.  I’m back in Virginia again, but at least this time I’m on my way back home.  It’s been a great trip — successful in every way.  Still, I’m eager to be home.  I’ve been away from my family for too long.  I miss my house, my kitchen, my bed, my office.  I’m ready to stop living out of a suitcase.

All that is obvious, really.  Anyone who’s been away on an extended business trip knows exactly what I’m talking about.  But I’m impatient to be home for another reason, as well.  Teaching in South Carolina, attending the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY, where I spent time with lots of my writing friends and also with my editor and agent — all of this has left me energized, chomping at the bit to write again.  (Yes, I can write while on the road, but I’ve had lots of other things going on.  And I write best in my own space.)  There are times when I’m utterly absorbed by whatever project I happen to be working on at the time.  I’ve just recently turned in the second book of my Blood of the Southlands trilogy — the first volume, THE SORCERERS’ PLAGUE, will be out in December; this second volume, THE HORSEMEN’S GAMBIT, should be out late in 2008 — and while I was finishing it up I was completely focused on that book.  But now that it’s done, I’ve got a few months before I need to begin work on the final volume.

So what do I intend to do with this “free time”?  I intend to write!  I have an idea for another project that I need to develop.  I have another book that needs revision before I can sell it to a publisher.  I have ideas for a few short stories.  And for once, I have time to work on all of these things.  I used to take longer to write each of my books, and in between volumes, I found it hard to get myself to write anything else.  Not anymore.

One of my great fears as a writer — one that I know I share with others in my field — is that at some point my creative well will run dry, that I’ll run out of story ideas.  Chris Roberson, another friend who happens to be an outstanding writer, tells me that he never worries about this.  He believes that creativity begets creativity.  Writing one story simply clears the way for the next story idea.  He may be right; I don’t know.  For me, the fear of running out of stories remains.  But right now, I feel that I’m in the midst of an incredibly fertile period in my career, perhaps the richest I’ve ever experienced.  And as long as the ideas keep coming, I feel that I owe it to myself to pursue every one of them.  There have been times in the past when, upon completing a book, the very last thing I’ve wanted to do is write anything, even an email.  This time around, all I want do is write.  I’m not sure how long this feeling will last, but as long as it does, I’m going to enjoy it and milk it for all it’s worth.

This is when writing is most fun, when being an author is most rewarding.  I’ll let you all know how it’s going.  Stay tuned…

Today’s music:  Counting Crows

3 Responses to “Chomping at the Bit”

  1. I’m with Chris. My problem isn’t a lack of ideas; it’s a lack of time in which to write them all down.

    But… go with the feeling! Get writing!

  2. davidbcoe said

    Another vote for the never ending stream of ideas. It would be interesting to do some sort of (informal) survey of writers to see if I’m in the minority on this one. Stephen is also a terrific writer (check out his web site at so that’s two writers for whom I have great respect who don’t share this particular fear of mine. Maybe I’m just weird this way. Actually, it wouldn’t be the only way….

  3. “Maybe I’m just weird this way. Actually, it wouldn’t be the only way….”

    Now *there’s* an understatement! 🙂

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