Maybe the hardest part of writing isn’t story ideas, or characters, or even finding time to write (although, to be honest, that kind be pretty rough). No, the hardest part is asking for things–asking for people to believe in your idea, to take a risk on your talent, to believe in you, and to spend their hard-earned money to do it.
Earlier this year, right about the time of the Big Scary Health Scare, I had an idea for a story. Of course, it sounded insane. It had a Southern Gothic feel, with some romance woven in, and, of course, some strange timey-wimey bits.
The story kept sneaking up on me. When I woke up it was there. Bits of dialogue came to me when I was driving to and from work. The characters interrupted me when I was trying to shower. And then the story revealed its title: The Gravekeeper’s Wife.
Ifrinn! When a story did that, when it told me its name, it was a sure sign that it wasn’t going to let up until I got it down on paper. So slowly, a bit reluctantly, I started.
People don’t visit graves like the used to. Used to be that people’d come to pay their respects after church, maybe, or on holidays and anniversaries–and Decoration Day, of course. Now, though, they don’t bother much. Except, of course, when they want to make sure that the dead stay buried.
Then, the characters started getting really chatty. And I realized that I really, really wanted to focus on it. But I couldn’t, because all of those doctors who were so kind as to keep my beloved husband alive now wanted to be paid for their efforts. And, unfortunately, the “pay the bills” work leaves no time or energy for the “sustains my soul” work (namely the blogging, and the world building, and the stories).
Something has to give.
This is where the whole “asking” thing comes in. If you enjoy this blog, or talking with me about Outlander, or liked “The Collector,” or want to find out more about “The Gravekeeper’s Wife,” you can find out how to support these things over at my Patreon page. There will also be plenty of free things over there as well (because sometimes the only help you can afford to give is a kind word or a virtual hug–and I happily accept those, too)!