So far, my fellow bloggers have spoken awesomely about writer’s block, and about keeping going…I think I will write about keeping it all balanced.
Chances are, writing is the only thing you do. We’d all (well, most of us) like to be at the point where we pay for the costs of being alive through our writing, but that is a dream, for me, somewhere in between winning the lotto and being discovered by Stephen Moffat and being made the next companion on Dr. Who.
I work full time, I help take care of my parents, I not only learn to fence, but I take my fellow students to historical events. (I call myself a fencer mom…the trunk of my car is stuffed with masks, armor, mismatched gloves, empty water bottles…) Since I’m gone for my hobby every other weekend, and work on the house every other other weekend, and etc, there isn’t a lot of time for writing. On top of that, I like to garden, read, play games and sleep. Sleep is good.
And, of course, you don’t just write when you’re a writer. You network. You edit your drafts. You do a lot of the self publicity. You spend lots of time finding people to submit your work to, and then lots more time trying to convince them that they want to publish you.
Let’s take a moment, here, because I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
But, don’t let that get you down. The old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” is a good one.
The first key is that you have to want it. It’s about attitude. Want it as much or more than you want everything else. You have to envision being a writer as, not part of the future, but as part of who you are, as how you define yourself. Imagine that I just asked you to use one word to define yourself. What do you say first? Parent? Teacher? What’s the second?
I’m not a parent, so, depending on where I’m at, I say secretary if I’m at work…daughter, author, fencer. Those are the four things that mean the most to me.
The second key is organization. I have a bright blue (easy to find, and it’s plastic so it won’t get wet, worn out, etc) weekly planner, but since I don’t want to write everything down on a particular date, I have large sticky notes that I scribble on and attach, like a book mark, into the week we’re living through. Everything gets written down, and it’s on my desk at work, at home, I even take it with me to Medieval events. I don’t trust myself to remember anything. I also carry a USB with several folders on it: Promo materials (PDF’s to send off for book reviews, jpgs of covers and pictures of – bleah – me, the spread sheet that mentions where and what I’ve sent) works in progress by name. I write at my desk during lunch, check my emails when I can, I research and take notes of possible places to request book reviews from. I reserve time every Monday to solicit book reviews, interviews, blog posts, going off those notes. I have a goal how much I need to write every day. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I do really well and surpass by word count by several hundred words. It all averages out in the end.
The final key: Be good to yourself…be forgiving. Beating yourself up just makes everything worse. Just do your best, try and keep organized so you feel like you’re in control, and do what you can.
And good luck.