"You know," she says, "writing's creative and all this, certainly, but you don't just wander around dreaming. That's not what you're getting paid for."
"People go, 'Oh, you work six or eight hours a day, oh my God!' Well, yeah, how many hours do you work?.....this is my job. And I think people who"--she hesitated for a moment--"have more of an artistic bent, they're just not as productive, and their writing is probably not any better than mine at the end of the day."
Collins estimates that it takes Roberts, on average, forty-five work-days to write a book. "Roberts, who, as J. D. Robb, also writes futuristic police procedurals, has written a hundred and eighty-two novels, in addition to short stories and novellas. In a typical year, she publishes five "new Noras": two installments of a paperback original trilogy; two J. D. Robb books; and, each summer, what her editor Leslie Gelbman, refers to as the 'big Nora'--a hardcover stand-alone romance novel."
Nora Roberts is not every one's idea of a great writer, but you can't argue with her productivity. What can you learn from this dynamo?
- AIC--Ass in the chair, each day, every day. It's the way books are made.
- OOC--Get your head Out of the Clouds. It's your business to be a writer and that takes hard work. Go out, look at the sky, think about your characters, and then, start writing!
- Learn how to write dialogue--If you're a fiction writer, it will save your butt.
- Learn how to research--Roberts uses the Internet, you can too.
- Engage your reader--Create characters that readers can relate to.
So Happy Father's Day! Kiss your dad on the forehead or give him the homage of your choice. Then, get busy!