Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Slacker Writer

I've been slacking off on my blog posts lately, though I'd like to think it's for fairly good reasons (at least that's what I'm choosing to tell myself.) Truth is, as an old boss of mine used to say, I've just been covered up these past couple of weeks.

By day, I'm a freelance copywriter and have been for several years.  By day and night, I'm dutifully pecking away on suspense manuscripts.  Like most Indies, I got into this game because my ultimate goal is to be a full-time novelist, but since Rome wasn't built in a day, I have to fit my writing in around my writing, if that makes sense.  This of course means some things can and do fall by the wayside for a bit before I can go back and pick them up.   
Talk to any writer about their writing routine and it's like pulling the lever on a slot machine; you'll hear a different outcome every time.  Some writers are up at dark-thirty and write for two hours straight before work.  Others hunker down over the computer for two hours a night after work.  Some might even devote their lunch break to tapping out a few words.  Some have the luxury of already having their writing career as their day job and can devote numerous chunks of time to it during the day.  Some of us have daily word count goals (mine is 2,000) while others may have a daily chapter or page goal.  Some can churn out a manuscript while sitting in the local bar (don't I wish.  I'd be too focused on the wine), while others need complete solitude and silence (true story—at night, I write with the TV on—doesn't bother me a bit.  But during the day, it's a distraction, though on occasion I will listen to music).

In a perfect world, I like to get my words in first thing in the morning, but in my frequently imperfect world, it might not be until nine at night.  Sometimes, I can burn through 2,000+ words in no time at all, and be pretty happy about those words to boot .  Other times, I'm only able to get 500 words on the page.  They tend not to be pretty, unless you count pretty ugly, but the important thing I've learned is not beat myself up about it.  The victory is getting the words out of my head and onto the screen. 
Regardless of what is going on in my life at any given time, I've learned to take the victories in small doses and not beat myself up if I don't always get everything on the to-do list done that day.  If that means I don't blog for a few weeks, or the five marketing activities I designated for myself have to wait a couple of days or I only manage to write 1,000 words instead of 2,000, it's okay.  Victories are victories, no matter how small they may be.  Sometimes, we can only do what we can do and as Scarlett O'Hara always said, tomorrow is another day.  Tomorrow could be the day 2,500 words are written, six marketing activities get done and two blogs are posted.  Taking it all in stride is a lot easier than just giving up and deeming it all a big fat failure because one or two things didn't get crossed off the list.

So, I'm going back to the wayside and picking up a few things, which is perfectly fine with me.  As long as I do that, it's all good.

Now, back to writing.      

4 comments:

  1. Great Post, this could so easily be about me :D Nice to know I'm not the only one doing a juggling act.

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  2. You are definitely not alone, Ben. We just have to do the best we can! Thanks for stopping by and happy juggling! ;)

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  3. Yes, writing is climbing a mountain...unless you're Stephen King, Dean Koontz or the like..ours is a labor of love...but tough all the same. I think I'm a great example of what you write above...I gave up...but the writer in me did not...and would not let me give up forever...so...I'm back :)

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  4. Dark Writer - thanks for sharing your thoughts. You're right in that this business can be a tough hill to climb. There really is something about conquering it, that's for sure. Glad to hear you got back on the horse. :)

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