This week I’m writing in the Russian River Valley. A working vacation….so to speak. As writers, do we ever take a vacation? The two hour wait in the airport for departure finds me people watching. The two and half hour flight to San Francisco finds me, not reading my book or napping, but listening to the group of 40 somethings chit chatting about how they haven’t traveled without children in far too long. The two hour wait for our rental car…CRAZY….I was fascinated by the multitudes and the blatant stories of their lives shared, exposed and repeated in their frustration over the situation. My brain was aflame with the character ideas, the story ideas¬†and that’s on top of the stuff I have going on currently.

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The view from my remote office is amazing. The house is quiet as the Beard and our friends were up late battling it out with Bananagrams. I couldn’t keep my eyes open, partly from the travel day, but mostly from the sensory onslaught. I’ve made a commitment to write two hours a day….I am working after all. The battle in my head is what am I going to write?

The Esau Convergence, the sequel to my latest novel The Esau Emergence, is about 13 chapters done. Not polished, not paced, not ¬†crafted, but 13 chapters in hand is nothing to discount. That’s what I’m telling myself daily. I’m warming to my novel about Hell. Characters, conflicts and conversations are bubbling to the surface. I loved Anne Rice’s interview with Writer’s Digest, never mind that she abjured her writing and condemned her readers in a fit of finding God. She said, “Everyone loves to tell you that you’re not a ‘real’ writer.” She went on to break that down from her own experience, but in the last few weeks I’ve been struggling with the Writing Blerch…that bastard. Not only does my Blerch harass me while I run, work out, eat and any other activity it feels the need to belittle, now it’s clinging to my writing process.

Here’s the fundamental truth…..I’m a real writer. I’m sitting here in Russian River Valley in the early morning with my coffee. I’m on my computer planning and plotting while my compatriots snooze off some wonderful wine and a slew of late night games. I pulled myself away from the laughs and hilarity to get some sleep because the characters in my head are demanding some air time. I published a book, and I’m writing two more. I’m a real writer.

I’M A WRITER! Just saying to myself blooms the joy and excitement in my soul. I will talk to a lot of folks today. Each time, I’ll proudly state my occupation and calling. If you’re a writer….a real writer. Practice saying it in the mirror. Tell people at the grocery store….they give you strange looks, but what the hell? Go on a weekend trip and tell complete strangers….that’s the easiest. Come on!

Each time you tell someone that you’re a writer revel in the terror, the joy and the elation! Whoot whoot! I’m a writer! Okay, back to the grind….oh it’s such a tough gig!

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