Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Easy Street

by Dietrich Kalteis

If you could magically do one thing to make the business end of writing easier for yourself, what would it be? (Having an Assistant? Learning to use a program you have resisted? Having someone who could magically explain your royalty statement? Knowing for sure what promotion would work best for you?)

If I could magically make one thing easier for myself, well, a clock with an extra hour would be nice, that, or one that ticks slower. Either one would give me some extra time to get it all done. On a good day I get in six hours of writing, and sometimes when I’m rolling, I go longer. Even when I’m not on a roll, I could use the extra time for other things: the guitar and dog both want to play, one probably even wants to go for a long walk.

And maybe a cabin tucked away somewhere quiet would be a nice too, a kind of writing hideaway. The kind of place I would need a Jeep to get to. Off the beaten track with no phone, TV and no internet.

And a researcher would come in handy, somebody to dig up facts. My last two novels and the one I’m working on now are historical, and they required a lot more research than the ones I wrote that take place in present-time and are set in my own backyard. Google’s quick and easy, but there are phone calls, letters and trips to libraries, also historical maps and photos, personal accounts and archives to sift through. It’s fun to immerse myself in the times I set these stories in, and there are a lot of cool facts to learn, but it does bite into the writing time, and there are likely people out there who are better, faster and more resourceful at doing the research.

I know I was just supposed to pick one thing, but the question did say ‘magical’ — so, a clock, a cabin, and a researcher, yup, that ought to do it.


RM Greenaway said...

I'm with you, except the one hour. Give me three, at least!

Paul D. Marks said...

Ditto, Dieter and RM. An extra hour would be great. Does Daylight Savings count ;)