> What is Giant Thief about?
Funnily enough, though, the fantastic and much-better-read-than-me Adrian Tchaikovsky happened to sort of answer this very question on his blog, Shadows of the Apt.
Anywhere and everywhere. Crown Thief has been written over four permanent addresses, any number of hotel rooms and countless trains. When you have a year to write a book in, you learn pretty quickly to write wherever you can set up a laptop.
Meanwhile, the best part will always be the writing itself. The more it becomes a career, the more just sitting down and creating becomes a luxury. I've been almost exclusively editing and redrafting and planning since last summer, and I love those aspects too, but it'll be nice to get back to the bare bones work of crafting a story out of nothing.
It can take a huge amount of time to write a short story, let alone a really good story, let alone a novel. Then there's the business of selling your work and self-promotion and networking and editing and getting a website and keeping up a blog and everything else that comes with the territory once you start selling your fiction. The more seriously you take writing, the more it takes over your life. And like anything, if you go into it half-heartedly then it's unlikely that any amount of talent will be enough to get you through on its own. It comes down to the slog of trying to do your best day after day after day and not getting disheartened or compromising. In that sense, it's best to think of it as a job. Don't give yourself the luxury of saying "I'll write when I feel like it" or waiting for inspiration to strike. Whenever you have some remotely free time, use it to write. Write every day, even if it's only a few words, and build up over time.
On the other hand, it's vital to remember why you're doing it. After a tough eight hours of mind-numbing day job, it's all too easy to think of an hour in front of the computer as a chore. But writing should be where you let your subconscious out of the box, where you can let your brain off its leash. It's not something you do instead of having a life, its where you get to live flat-out. Think of it as a luxury, and feel a little sorry for your friends who are stuck in front of the telly while you're tucked away doing something you genuinely care about.
Thing is, it's easy enough to avoid. If you get really stuck, move on to something else. If a line or a story or an idea isn't working, let yourself back off from it and concentrate your efforts elsewhere. If you can't write the start of a story, skip on to a scene you feel more comfortable with and write that instead. Meanwhile, keep a little bit of your subconscious busy chipping away at that wall you've hit and come back when you're ready.
So I guess the tip is, train yourself out of thinking that writing means starting at the beginning of a story and carrying on linearly to the end. The brain's an astonishing tool for creating, and for multitasking. But trap it in a narrow alley and it'll never get past the first obstruction.