So many creative initiatives begin life as an offhand comment, initially dismissed.
So it was with #HFChitChat—the idea of a recurring Twitter chat and online community for writers of historical fiction.
It was this—the inherent uncertainty of any long gap of time—that convinced me to go to the recent writers’ conference of the Historical Novel Society’s North American chapter, held June 20-23 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Writers’ conferences are expensive, even more so with the exchange from Canadian dollars for those held in the United States. Still, as a writer of historical fiction, I felt it was important for me to go.
Twelve books a year doesn’t trouble me anymore, but it did at the time. I found myself floundering beneath the burden of various competing obligations, some mandatory, some discretionary, and that reading, my oldest pastime, had fallen far by the wayside.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
He’s right in more ways than one. The tools that reading has to offer are numerous.
I started 2018 off strong, with my previous Recent Reads post from January to March including four completed books.
(Well technically, three books and one novella, but one of those books was a reference for the next historical fiction novel I plan to write. Reading that required highlighting and note-taking that slowed me down considerably, and perhaps balances out the novella’s shorter length.)
Overall, I consider writing the most solitary of the arts. Not only does writing a novel involve spending months, if not longer, alone inside one’s head trying to reproduce the drama unfolding therein, the interim stages of an unfinished novel hold next to no interest.