When Writing a Novel

Judas the Apostle. What I have found is that writing a book is a lot of fun. Most of my writing has been in my profession as a business and corporate attorney. And, I’ve done a lot of it over the years. But writing a novel is completely different. It’s probably like a person who teaches judo or boxing for a living but loves to ride his surfboard for fun. All very physical but somehow very different.

Writing requires creativity but most people, I believe, have enough creativity to write. Particularly in Louisiana, where one finds the culture so thick and deep, there is so much material. You don’t have to be that creative. What I have learned you do have to be is disciplined. That can’t be news to any successful person in almost any field. Put aside the lotto-lightning strikes where fame reaches down and somehow anoints a person, the people who succeed have this simple discipline. I will do the thing ritually until I’m better than anyone else at it, or close enough to that. How many poor athletes practiced their skill until no one could do it better? Apply this to writing. The people who await the mystic bolt of inspiration will miss the boat. It’s day after day of writing. I don’t think many great writers will disagree.

For me, once I decided to write, it was sitting down in front of my computer every night at nine o’clock. Most nights I tried to write a thousand words or so. Of course, my mind worked on the plot, story line and characters at many other times during the day and night  but this was when pen went to paper or in this day, cursor to CRT. Some nights I withered through the enviable blocks when I couldn’t write a word but I still tried. Other nights, my poor fingers could not keep up with the words as theytn flew through my mind onto the manuscript. Don’t tell me you haven’t been there.

God…I love writing!

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About vrmayhalljr

Van R. Mayhall Jr. is the senior partner in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana law firm where he practices corporate and business law and handles selected litigation. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, he was educated at Louisiana State University and Georgetown University. He and his wife, Lorri, have three grown children and enjoy boating on Lake Pontchartrain.
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One Response to When Writing a Novel

  1. patnewcombe says:

    writing is such a pleasure and also such a chore!!

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