Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Writing, or Going on Vacation

This meme comes to mind. No, I'm not sitting at my desk playing solitaire (although there are some games that have been known to distract me).

Perception: I'm going to write the next great American novel and make buckets of money.

Truth: Very few authors are able to make a living at this writing gig.

Writing is not glamorous. It requires discipline and hard work, like any other job, and the rewards are generally far less. There is no boss to slap you on the back and tell you to keep up the good work. There is an editor waiting to read your words and tell you what you did wrong, what you need to fix (and thank heavens for editors!). Along with the writing job, many of us hold down day jobs to pay the bills (and fund our writing habit). To quote my very smart son, we do what we have to so we can do what we want to.

Right now, I'm fighting for time to write. Although I am managing to get words down, my writing production is slow because I'm doing what I have to (rather than what I want to). This is the most frustrating part about being a writer, not enough time to spend, which results in summaries of ideas and thoughts to be fleshed out at a later date after I've filled the available writing space for the day. Generally, I break free from this cycle by scheduling vacation time dedicated to writing  in order to get the book done (or at least replace all those notes with actual prose). Fingers crossed that things will break loose in another week or so and I can increase the time I'm spending with my characters.

A little like being a parent, I suppose. We work to support our families, spending only a few hours each evening with them and touch down. And then we take a vacation to fully enjoy the time we spend together...


  1. When I started writing, my mentor said, "Once you get published, you'll have homework for the rest of your life." I've never been able to say "I'm going to write from 10-noon and 2-4 every day."

  2. when I have a "perfect" work/life balance, I have a fairly regular writing routine, but when the balance tips toward work (writing being included in the "life" part), there is no routine, so it's a concerted effort rather than looking at the clock and thinking "okay, time to write!"