art,  introspection,  writing

Radio Silence

I’ve spent much of the summer not engaging with the Internet, which is only part of the reason why my last post was months ago.  There is so much that the Internet brings to my life, but it also brings a world of distraction with it that gets in the way of writing.

And how I long to be the kind of writer that can pound out weekly blog posts and keep up her writing goals and also meet all of the demands of every day life.  Do these writers have a potion that they drink to keep the words flowing?  Where does the time come from?  What is the problem always, but time, time, time?

Give a sister a Time Turner already, Hermione.

I’ve thought of shutting down Ordinary Canary a dozen times over the summer.  But every time I start taking the steps to do so, something in the back of my brain just won’t let me do it.  It’s hardly a success, as far as blogs go.  I have no sponsors.  My regular readers number in the dozen and that’s only if you include all of the ones that are related to me.

And yet.

And yet I have been writing journal entries on the Internet since 1997, since before there were fun little software packages like WordPress, before LiveJournal and Diary-X, when telling the world how I felt meant hand-coding the HTML for every entry.  Updating links.  Pirating pictures from a world wide web that was still a shadow of the information dump that it would soon become.

The Internet has grown up.  So have I.

I have been hard at work all year on a novel that I’ve tried to write several times before, but this time I seem to actually be doing it.  It’s a historical fiction biopic, based on someone that you might know about if you know your classical music history, but most people don’t.  I don’t want to say much more than that, for I read some advice that the more time you spend talking about your project, the more energy you take away from actually working on it. 

And working on it I have been.  I’ve done two Camp Nanowrimos this year and fully plan to be writing the last chapters of my novel in the real Nanowrimo this November.  I discovered a neat little tool that lets you run your own personal Nanowrimo all the other months of the year and track your statistics, and so for most of the other months, I’ve been doing that too.

That is to say, I write or edit nearly every day.  I’ve passed 150,000 words and still have another part to go, which tells me a great deal about how much cutting and revising I will be doing.  Perhaps this is because it is my first novel, but I am certainly not a very efficient writer.  I never have been, which is part of what makes keeping to blogging deadlines so difficult for me.  Writing takes time.  It always comes back to time.

And so, Ordinary Canary has been put on the back burner for now, but for the absolute best reasons.  For now, I just have to keep my head down and the words flowing.  And when I raise my head again, finished draft in my hand, I can only hope that all of you will still be here.


  • Joy Oliver

    We will still be here, waiting for your next blog, whenever it comes. You underrate your writing skills. They are so well developed and skillful. You can touch me in so many ways. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I sigh. But always I want to read more. Thank you.
    Nan and Grandpa

  • ccyager

    I know exactly what you’re talking about! My struggle is constant with time. I’m now working on the first revision of my second novel, and it kills me that the only time I can get really good work done is on the weekends when I have bigger chunks of uninterrupted time. I try to do all the internet work during the work week in the evenings so I have less to do on the weekends. Blog posts have been a challenge and I’ve also thought of closing it all down, but agents and publishers do pay attention to a writer’s online presence. Do the best you can. No one can expect any more or less. I enjoy your blog posts and your thoughtful point of view on the world. But I’m also interesting in anything about classical music, so I’m looking forward to hearing that your novel is done and available to read! Best of luck.

  • Julie Christine

    I feel this so deeply, Charlotte, as you know. I’m constantly at war with myself for not working on my novel, for “procrastinating” with a fulltime job, a fulltime life, I worry that I’ll never again find the mojo that brought for 3 novels in three years, weekly blog posts, newsletters, book reviews. What happened to that writer? I’m learning patience and forgiveness.

    Keep writing, writer. We’re here, reading, listening, supporting.

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