Refilling the well

I mentioned elsewhere that I’m in “refilling the well” mode after turning in Book 2 to my editor last week.  Somebody asked what that means.  It means some idiot didn’t dig the well over a bottomless aquifer so I have to keep adding back what I take out. 

This is one time when I am not happy about moderation and sustainability.  I want to suck deep at that well, spew endlessly, and never run dry.  Tragically, I can’t work that way.

Apocryphally, They Say women use 20,000 words a day (man, I wish I could write that fast) while men use only 7,000 (actually, I’d be happy writing this many words too).  Whether that’s true or not is debated, but my question is how many words a writer uses in the course of creating a story vs. how many words a writer has the day after typing The End. 

In the aftermath of big storytelling, I feel drained.  I done used up all muh words.  I’ve also heard the post-writing blackout called the fallow time.  Picture a farmer’s field with only the stubble left, broken and ground into the dirt, slowly mouldering.  That fits too.

I silence the white noise with hiking and gardening and then add words back with an epic reading binge and movie marathon.  After a suitably indulgent time, words and ideas fall into the dark earth — fed by a thick layer of manure, naturally — and, watered from the well, stories will rise again.

All these homespun analogies are only my attempt to make writing seem like real work, of course.  Stories aren’t like delicate roses; they’re more like thistles that sprout up wherever the ground is disturbed, water and words be damned. 

Truth is, I can’t wait for Book 3.



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