The Writer’s Wheel 2/16/2020: How an Author Works
This should actually be titled “How I Write,” but for the purposes here, we’ll generalize things. A lot of people out there want to be writers. This is a glimpse into the work at hand and what it takes (out of your day & you) to be a writer.
There is a HUGE time crunch. Doing your day job (Yes, you should keep it as most writers need a solid, steady income because payments for writing come in whenever, not at any set date. In the meantime, you need to be able to support yourself. Not very romantic, huh? That’s a writer’s life.), taking care of your family, pursuing your other interests, spending time with pets, it’s all included in your day. EVERY day. When people picture writers, they think they live in a castle or perhaps a setting in the woods, doing nothing more than typing a few pages a day, clearing away the clutter, and presto! There you have a book! (I wish!)
No, with writing, you actually put more time into it than an eight-hour job. Writing is a business. You must not only write the book, but market it, go to signings, have a blog tour, attend conferences, etc. Most people think of writers as J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or Nora Roberts famous. That’s not true of most. We’re just like you. Except, toiling at something we love. (And, yes, we DO love it, otherwise what’s the point? Writers sacrifice so much of themselves into the work that if we didn’t love it, it would be like a storm constantly hitting your life and leaving you homeless.)
So, How Do You Get Past the Time Crunch?
By keeping at it. You HAVE to bring yourself to the desk. That’s the BIG thing. The BIGGER thing is, you have to write. Write, write, write. Even if your fingers are sore. Even if your body protests at spending time doing this task after working all day. Or after a hard night’s sleep. You HAVE to write with a fever, cold, and chills. Sometimes the flu. Sometimes even through grief. If it’s in you, you will find that spark you need, time after time.
Grief, is harder, of course. And I know a great many writers take time off after such. I don’t blame them at all. I know a lot struggle when they try to come back. But you WILL find the spark. It might take a little cleaning of the battery cables, a little jiggle, a few pennies for the flow to happen again, but it will. Don’t stress yourself over such.
How Do You Keep at it for the Long Haul?
You do what you must. With age, comes health problems for most. If you want to do this: find a way. I’ve recently been told I have arthritis. I work despite the pain. I also have carpal tunnel syndrome. I wear the glove when I have to; I ease off the pace. What I’m saying is do whatever you need to, to get it done. Dictate your book if you need to. There are plenty of ways. There are amazing inventions out there that are helping handicapped people every day. Why shouldn’t you take advantage of such? Writers from centuries past had a drive to publish their work and they did. Despite politics. Despite no printing press. In spite of their economic situations. You can do it. It just takes one word at a time. Over and over until they add up to the size of the story you’re trying to tell. Please don’t write 10,000 pages though. No one wants to tackle a dinosaur. Cut back and go forth.
Have a great week, take care, and God bless!