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  • Writer's pictureLaura Bray

So What's This All About?

"Aren't I arty?" by Ivanka Majic is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Welcome to my new blog, “Write Before Ready.” I’m working on my novel (tentatively titled, Springs From Winter Rise, from an Emily Dickinson poem). My plan: an agent-ready draft by the end of the year.

“Write Before Ready” will feature posts about my own writing process, the “writing life,” and bits of history related to Springs. I have a three-inch notebook filled with research I’ll never use in the novel. (Yes, a notebook with actual paper. I’m old fashioned that way. I do, however, write and keep novel drafts on a computer. I’m not completely daft.) But all the research is fascinating, and all of it will help set the atmosphere for Springs.

Let me explain my blog title. A few years ago at the San Antonio Book Festival, I attended a panel featuring one of my favorite authors of historical fiction, Stephen Harrigan, who talked about his new book, A Friend of Mr. Lincoln. I was deep—too deep---into research for my own book. I asked him: how in the world does he know when to quit researching and start writing? It’s Lincoln, for heaven’s sakes—he could spend a lifetime researching that subject.

He smiled and nodded. “I always write before I think I’m ready.”


He explained that he gets to a point where he just tells himself “enough” on research, then moves onto writing the novel. Whenever he got to a point in the narrative where he needed more research, he’d make a note to look up that particular point later.

That impetus—and our move later to Boerne—finally pushed me, after years of “talking about it,” to write that first draft. I’m not “counting,” per se, but I’m several drafts in at this point. With a long way to go.

That “first draft” is the subject of my next post—how it finally happened in a flurry of concentrated activity. And how it then came to an abrupt and painful halt.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for more.

That’s all she wrote……..Laura

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