So here I am again. Posting. Last time I introduced you all to Zack Burton, one of the main characters in my new novel, ZION’S WEB (for details on ZION’S WEB see http://www.michaelsnowauthor.com). Today I thought I’d give a little background on how I wrote the novel. This article will be of primary interest to other writers, but non-writers may find it interesting as well.
Before I get into the specifics I think it might be helpful to explain a little bit about myself and how I came by writing in the first place. I’ve always had an interest in writing; ever since I can remember. I used to write out stories longhand when I was kid and then laugh when my mother would read them, mispronouncing all the misspelled words as she did. (This is a problem I still have, but with the advent of computers and spellcheck it has diminished somewhat.)
Later when I was in high school I would hang out in the library with all the writing nerds (we didn’t have computers then). I remember once when we were all together discussing a passage from Ray Bradbury’s novel, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. The part we were talking about is a fairly well written piece where one of the main characters is contemplating why people wake up at three in the morn. One section in particular sticks in my mind. It reads, “Women never wake then do they? They sleep the sleep of babes and children. But men in middle age? They know that hour well.” I couldn’t know then how meaningful this passage was to become to me in later years.
When I was thirty I bought my first typewriter–an old Royal that still sits in my garage. We still didn’t have computers at that point. I banged out my first novel on that thing–a three hundred page missive that also sits in the garage. I tried for several years to get that book published but alas, life got in the way.
Fast forward to ZION’S WEB. By the time I wrote my current novel, I had pretty much learned the art of time management. I set a schedule of writing an hour each morning and, when convenient, a couple of hours on Saturday. I stuck to it and eventually got the novel finished. I wouldn’t have been able to do that, however, without the intervention of another word: passion.
I learned early on that merely liking what others have written is not enough; setting a schedule that works for you is not enough; being disciplined and able to stick to that schedule is not enough. You have to have the burning desire to see your words in print that comes from somewhere…I know not where. My writing has always been a race against time. I have always felt like I needed to say something, something meaningful that had to to be thrown out into the universe for what purpose I can only guess at. Dylan Thomas talked about the “grief thief of time” and in that regard he was right: not only have we a limited amount of time to live, we writers have a limited amount of time to write, to get our words out there where they’re ultimately destined to go.
May God be with us all, and especially us writers. May God grant us the passion to send our words out into the universe to where they’re ultimately destined to end up–and may He give us the discipline to get them there in time.