Monday, November 28, 2011

Novel-in-Regress by Melissa Clark

Everyone writes about their novels in progress, but unfortunately mine is in regress. Novels #2, #3 are still out in the world looking desperately and humbly for homes while novel #4 is tucked away in my computer, untouched since August. I was so excited when I started it last year - a high concept idea with characters that were leaping off the page but then... but then what? Summer, a college reunion, the beginning of the semester, a trip to New York, a minor crisis in my personal life, my second teaching gig, movies, dinners, friends, parties...that's what.

I'n quite optimistic, though. Winter break is fast approaching, which means a month of uninterrupted time stretched out before me (that is if I don't fill it with movies, dinners, friends, parties, etc.). If nothing else, I'm sure I'll have time to read, Joan Didion and Steve Jobs are already on my nightstand just waiting to be cracked open.

That novel-in-regress - it taunts me every time I start my computer - it calls out, "Melissa! Hey! Over here! You were just getting to the good part!" I steal glances out of the corner of my eye - the folder wedged between "PIX OF MONTREAL" and "TAXES '11" I will double-click that blue folder one day soon. It will blink to life, the pages will open, and I will pick up where I left off, restoring it back to a novel-in-progress.

Melissa Clark is the author of "Swimming Upstream, Slowly" and teaches writing at Otis College of Art and Design and The Writing Pad in Los Angeles. Her non-fiction piece, "Rachael Ray Saved My Life" is forthcoming in a food anthology to be published by Shambhala Publications. You can follow her on her blog, Connections Clark.


  1. So many stops and starts when it comes to book writing! I am right there with you, Melissa! Best of luck either reading or writing or partying during the holidays!

  2. It's so hard, isn't it!? So many reasons not to write- so many other things to do!! But I know you'll get back to it soon. In the meantime, enjoy the procrastinations!!

  3. You're a writer, dear, so even when it looks like you're not writing, you're really still writing. I know - you're cocooning!

  4. High concept--get back to it Melissa! On the other hand, parties, dinners, and reading sound divine....

  5. Yes the fits and starts are all part of it I guess. So many little time...