Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why I Write: Michelle Krys

A while ago (note: before I got a literary agent and way before my book deal), I was having a particularly stressful writing day. You know the kind: everything you write is crap, you can’t think of any good ideas, there isn’t enough coffee in the world to keep you awake, and then just when you think of a brilliant idea, you realize it’s the plot of Twilight. Etc, etc.

So there I was huffing and puffing at the laptop when my husband passed by the room. He asked me ‘Why do you even write if you hate it so much?’

Well. I guessed I wasn’t exactly the picture of a woman enjoying herself…

That got me to thinking. Why do I write? I’d never slept less in my life. Free time was never relaxing, and there was always something I needed to do, if not for my book then for my blog, Twitter, or Facebook (not to mention the many writing forums I belonged to). My unfortunate family had to suffer through me accosting them with plot ideas at all hours of the day and night, and my friends hardly saw me at all. And dammit, I was two seasons behind on True Blood!

I put the laptop away. I was going to Take A Break. For two weeks! There was no need to stress myself out the way I was. Writing was supposed to be fun, and if it wasn’t anymore, I just wasn’t going to do it.


The first night went swimmingly. I watched a movie with my husband and ate a delicious plate of cheesy nachos—my favorite. I only thought about my plot a little (read: a lot)

The next day I went to Chapters and bought a new YA book that I’d wanted to read for ages; I’d make a tea and read it in a hot bath that evening—it was going to be great!

While driving home a song came on the radio. As I terribly sang along, a scene unfolded in my head. A great scene for my book! Then I remembered, oh yeah…I’m on a break.

The drive home continued. I passed the high school near my house and spotted a group of teens hanging out by the bus stop. One of the girls looked just like how I imagined my main character, with a lion’s mane of curly blonde hair and sporting a pair of mean army boots. It gave me a thousand ideas on how I could improve the descriptions of my main character. Except, oh yeah, I was on a break.

Dinner time came. As the onions sautéed on the stove, I thought longingly about my book. I decided, what the hell, I’d just read over the last chapter I’d written, just to remind me how crappy it was and encourage me on my path of Breakage. Only it wasn’t as bad as I recalled. In fact, it was maybe/possibly/kind of good…

A disturbing find.

I put my son to bed and poured myself a hot bath, my new book in hand. The book didn’t disappoint. In fact, if I recall correctly, it was amazing! (I wish I could remember which amazing book exactly it was). So why, then, couldn’t I enjoy it? With every amazing sentence I read, I found myself actually getting more and more anxious. I didn’t get it. I’d always continued reading while I wrote my books, and never had I been borderline angry whilst enjoying myself. Then it struck me: because reading a great book was the ultimate challenge for me to be a better writer.

I couldn’t fight it anymore. I got out of the bath and pulled out the laptop.

Some break that was.

So why do I write, you ask? Because that song was great. Because that teenager wore a cool outfit. Because that book was amazing. Because it only appears I hate writing. Because I actually love it with all my heart. And because I have to.

Note: It’s much easier to remember why I write now. I just look over my shoulder at the book deal tacked to my corkboard J

Michelle Krys is the author of the YA urban fantasy, 'The Witch Hunter's Bible', tentatively slated for publication with Delacorte/Random House Spring 2014. She is represented by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary.

Connect with Michelle!
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    Two seasons behind on TB? That, right there, is dedication. The YA world will thank you for missing those shirtless Alcide/Eric Northman scenes come Spring 2014!

  2. Wow! Just found out about this blog! Awesome!

    1. Thank you!!! :) We love people so helloooo!!

  3. I write because it gives me a break from the constant nagging chatter of the people in my head ;) And because it is my escape.

  4. I READ because it's the one thing in life that keeps me sane when I need to escape my own reality!!

    GFC Michele Luker

    jmluker at winco dot net

  5. SO true. I love the quote about writing because it's the only time you don't feel like you should be doing something else. I think that some of us just don't have a choice in the matter!

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  7. Silly posting monsters!

    I write because I have to, need to. It's as vital as breathing. As Steinem says, when I'm writing I don't feel guilty for not doing something else. It's me time and something so much more than that too. I couldn't imagine not writing.

  8. Loved this post, I had a good chuckle! When inspiration is around every corner, I think it's a pretty good sign you're meant to write ;)

    I love reading in the bath. Especially with a glass of wine - pure luxury!

  9. I write because I LOVE to create, I thirst for stories, and am obsessed with words. :)

  10. I write because I have stories inside of me that need to get out... and I write for the teenage girl that I was-- she needed these stories.

  11. I think loads of writers will relate to this story, Michelle, especially the part about feeling anxious when not writing. Nice to see your fame spreading.

  12. Oh, love this post :) I do not write :\ Wishing I can still enter the contest though; even though I also live in Norway.. *Hoping* :) But if I did write I would be writing mostly for myself. I do wish to write sometimes, to share the things I feel and such. But I'm too cowardly for that, at this time (A) :) Also: I read because I love getting to know new things. And I love getting lost in another world. I just adore reading. It makes my life so much better :)
    Love, Carina

  13. Love this post! I write because I can't not write. I've been through phases where I felt fed up with it too, but as soon as I took a break, my stories started tapping me on the shoulder and whispering in my ear, until I couldn't ignore them any longer. It was useless even to try!

  14. That was a great post on why you love writing! I am not a writer myself, but I have friends who love to write. I do love to read though! Sometimes I need a different world to escape into, just for a little while. :)

  15. just a question, is this open internationally?

  16. Thanks for the giveaway.... ^.^v