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No Hoarding! Writing with All You’ve Got

World War II poster that says "Don't Hoard Spare Parts"
Will Eisner was one of many artists who produced World War II posters for the Office of War Information. You can find more in National Archives collections: http://1.usa.gov/1NVmhcg

I should hang a copy of this poster above my desk.

One thing I’ve learned—but still have to tell myself at the start of every book—is not to hold back against the day I’ll be writing something else.

It’s especially hard to do when I’m finding my way into a project like HITCH, gathering information and deciding what I might use.  The temptation to set aside material so that I won’t ever face a blank page with nothing to put on it is huge. And especially so if I can hear the siren call of a possible future book where some nugget just might fit in.

What I do know, though, is that the work that’s actually in progress—the book that’s alive on my computer and in my mind, the one that I’ve committed to– deserves the very best I can give it.

It always takes a leap of faith.  Trust that if I use up all the best treasures in my files and on my camera roll, I’ll be able to replenish the store when I do get on to that next project.

It helps to promise myself a fill-the-well, meandering adventure when I’m done, whether it’s to a library or museum, in the woods, or on the open road.  It lets me plan on–count on–there being more. —Jeanette Ingold