Everyone’s busy. Everybody has something going on all the time, be it work, kids, weekend activities, errands, personal issues, illness, so on and so forth and whatnot. I’m going to narrow down this pool to the group of people that try to cram in writing and all things book related on top of it.
I’m a huge procrastinator. It SUCKS, y’all. I try extra hard to defy my lazy nature so I can pretend at being a productive member of society, and I think I’ve just about fooled everyone. Even with keeping constantly busy, sometimes I just can’t – I crave solitary down time, since I’m also, by nature, a bit of a recluse. I don’t even know how way more productive bloggers and writers do what they do everyday.
I basically just want to express my admiration for those that devote so much of their free time to this beautiful craft, and acknowledge how hard it can be. I’m having one of those exhausting Mondays, where I’m thinking of how I’m going to fit in everything I need to do writerly wise after work, but it will somehow get done, because I love it, and I need it. And I can’t be the only one who has these mild freak outs, that when you get off work and all you want to do is sleep but NO, oh no my dear, you have letters to write, reviewers to contact, manuscripts to critique and/or edit, you better power nap sister, it’s only 5:30!
The interns at publishing companies who love their craft so much they live and breathe it outside of school and work and what have you, the entry levels like me whose main goal in life is to learn, learn, learn, read and write and edit and improve and it eats up every ounce of free time, but we LOVE it. The book bloggers faithfully dishing out excellent book reviews on a weekly, if not daily basis, who do Q & A’s with their favorite authors, take the time to explore novels from smaller publishers, and help spread book love with their honest enthusiasm. To small publishers who sacrifice so much to do right by new authors they’re willing to take a chance on, when no one else would. To readers who post reviews and support their favorite authors. To writers who work full time jobs and still publish amazing work on the side, and they’ve got kids and commitments and overtime and soccer games and community stuff and homes to run and a thousand chores, and they’re exhausted at the end of the night but they STILL plop their butts in a chair and write, or blog, or edit. Sometimes I feel like people who don’t write have little understanding of just how hard it can be, when the muse has gone missing (mine likes to hit up nightclubs and come home smashed at dawn, hungover and useless for the rest of the day, sleeping it off when I actually need it) and trying to force it out just feels gross and you’re not just disappointed with what’s showing up on the page, you’re convinced you’ve never written garbage this bad, NEVER, and then, an hour later, you’ve TOPPED it for worst steaming pile of cow dung in the history of writing.
Sometimes I worry my friends and family when I express these feelings of inadequacy out loud, and I have to assure them it’s totally normal.
I’ve had people who know I’m writing a few novels ask how they’re doing – did you finish that one yet? Well, person – who I’m glad is actually taking an interest, thank you! – it’s finished, it’s just still in the revision process. We’re almost through the third major edit. And they can’t believe it, it’s been almost a year since the rough draft was finished, hasn’t it? Why is it taking so long? And then I try super hard not to bore them with details like how much more difficult editing and revising is compared to writing the thing, how much work and dedication it takes on top of our everyday lives to polish that baby to a shine so bright it’s blinding, so it’s something to be proud of, and it’s exactly what you wanted to say, and for most people, that takes a good deal of time. But it’s worth it. WORTH IT I TELL YOU.
I’m still in the discovery phase of the plethora of resources available on the Internet. I’m starting to realize the wealth of information just through Twitter alone, all the book bloggers, publishing houses, bookstores and magazines, editors and agents freely gushing about writing and doling out priceless knowledge. The sense of community is truly astounding, and I’ve gathered a lot of strength and know how from fellow writers as I’ve expanded my horizons. Just by reading other blogs and finding new authors to read, I’ve gotten schooled in effective promotion, writing skills, and learned more about the publishing world than I ever knew even a year ago. Working with the publishing company, interacting with the authors, attending their book launches – all of this has been so eye opening, and has given me a deep appreciation for those who devote so much time to creating a book, the writers and those behind the scenes. And sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough of it. Time, not writers. There’s plenty of us about.
Back to all those amazing people – how do you DO it? I’d love to know how everyone squeezes in the time for their writing, editing, blog posts, reviewing, all that jazz. After my spazz sessions, I usually shut my door, tune out the world, shut off my phone, and force myself to work for a few hours. Sometimes I switch up the scenery and go to a cafe. I’m always open to hearing other ways to time manage. Thus ends my whine/dishin’ out the love session.
This post was brought to you by a stressful morning made better only by turning it into book love, with a helping of Ray LaMontagne and Iron & Wine. Enjoy. Or vent, too, that’s cool. I love a good, funny rant.