I am starting to see the effects of my ongoing experiment to be a Real Writer (and Real Person).
First, I’ve acquired one of those day jobs. I like day jobs, as a general concept. It’s something new to do and it provides endless fodder for my writing. But it cuts into the writing time itself. I’ve tried getting up earlier. I’ve stopped rewatching Galavant on loop at night. I even do a little less housework. I’ve learned that I can’t get in huge word counts in any one day any longer, but who needs to do that anyway? By writing 1k-3k a day, I can finish a book in two months or less. Maybe it’s just because there are so many stories in my head trying to get out that I feel the pressure to write faster. I think being limited in my writing time actually improves my writing in the long run.
Second, I’ve attempted some marketing. I attended an in-person convention (in disguise) and have actually pressed my books here and there. I’ve noticed that it works better when others put my book out there than when I do it myself, so if you want to get me a gift for the Day of Birthing or the Reindeer Games, please do some promoting.
Third, I’ve started to get Writer’s Block due to interacting with the world. I mean, shootings. Wars. Heat. Politics. It’s enough to make a Figment despair. My current solution is to rail about the injustice of it all and then move from there into a furious writing session, but fury doesn’t write humor well. I may become a news hermit.
All of this has taught me that Professional Writers have just three things I don’t have:
One, they have more time to procrastinate, because writing is their day job. It would appear, based on output, that most Professional Writers actually produce about the same number of words each week that I do. This leaves them more hours for Netflix binging, silly cat videos, and Pokémon Go.
Two, they have someone who does some of their marketing for them, or they can pay someone to do marketing. If I ever become a Professional Writer, this will be my favorite perk.
Three, they figure out how to deal with all the world news better than I do. You cannot produce a consistent output of work if you are curled up in a ball waiting for Politigeddon to happen. At least, not until they develop psychic paper. (Really, Doctor Who, I think you’re onto something.) So Professional Writers must figure out how to deal with all the other “stuff” in the world better than I do.
Beyond that, it looks like I’m already doing what a Professional Writer does, so I’m one step closer to being a Real Writer.
How about you? How is your quest to be Real going? How do you cope with all the bad in the world? Most importantly, how do you find more time to procrastinate?