When it comes to very good reasons why my personal writing isn’t getting done, my list is long and awesome. The one thing it isn’t – is unique.
- “My family takes up a lot of my time and energy…”
- “I’m working way too many hours…”
- “Too many other things are more important…”
- “I just can’t get this first chapter right…”
- Fill In The Blanks
Now, unlike some, I make my living by writing and editing. I’m at it six days a week most of the time. I speak to groups about writing and editing. I attend conferences and monthly programs. I’m blessed to be spend many of my waking hours working with the words I so love and am intrigued by. But, the one thing I leave off my work schedule is WORK ON BOOK 2.
And, because I had the honor, many years ago, of chatting with Nora Roberts while having a drink during some conference down time, I really have NO excuse at all. You see, that best-selling author of all time told me her secret to having so many books on the market.
I was doing a quasi-interview at the time. I’d done a phone interview months earlier, but thought I’d expand it with some other questions. She was terrific as always. So, I asked her what I thought most pre-published authors would find most important:
Me: You’ve got a hundred books out there and they all sell great. What’s your secret? How do you do that?
She laughed a moment – probably at my question. But then she got serious and shrugged.
NR: I keep my butt in the chair. It’s my livelihood. I work at it 40-50 hours a week, just like you work at the corporate office. When the boys were young, I worked at it every second that I could.
ME: Yes, but readers love your work. How’d you learn to write so well?
NR: By writing a lot. I’m a natural story-teller, but my writing got better by writing a lot. You can’t edit a blank page.
And so, I know better than most, that the “secret” to writing novels is to WRITE THEM. I don’t have a list of reasons why not – I have a list of I excuses. And I’m bright enough to understand that I will ALWAYS have what I’m committed to having. Excuses, or completed written works. Change my commitment or own it.
If you still have that burning desire to write, then do it. Tear up the excuses and jealously guard whatever moments you can to keep writing. Or start writing. Sure, it might cost you a television program, or a half hour of sleep, or chatting with buddies in the breakroom. But be honest with yourself when you ask, “What am I committed to doing/having?”
If you’re honest with the answer to that question, then you’ll know exactly what is right for YOU to do. And no, writing isn’t an easy profession, even on a part time basis. But if you are one of those who must write, then suck it up and get moving!
For me, it’s tear up that list and forfeit a little sleep so I can get the next novel done – and launch the series this year. The answer may be different for you – and that’s fine. There is no right or wrong answer to this puzzle.
So, keep reading – and writing! Both are important to your spirit – and your career – IF a writing career is your goal.