Sometimes I think that writing a book is like scaling a mountain.
- You need to be ready to start and have your provisions in place
- You need to make time for the adventure
- You have to start somewhere at the bottom (and the first part can seem particularly daunting)
- You can only do it one step at a time
- The further you get, the more intense the feelings – a mixture of heady exhilaration and utter exhaustion
- You need to be determined not to give up – it is a test of resilience
- And finally the view from the top is awesome, but even when you finish the book, there is still more to do. More mountains to climb.
Can you think of some more analogies?
I started climbing my current mountain at the beginning of July. In my case, it’s not writing a whole book from scratch, but picking up a book I drafted a few years ago and getting it ready for publication. For me, this bit is harder than writing the story in the first place. I love creating new stories, but I don’t enjoy revisiting them and rewriting slabs that could be improved. It is important, but doesn’t feel as creative.
Nevertheless, this is an important book, because it is the first in the series, so I want to get it right. Not perfect (after all, there is no such thing), but better.
Step 1 – I have been doing lots of research (ie, reading) during the past few years while I have been in my writer’s drought.
Step 2 – I have made time for writing by changing my full-time job to 4 days a week. I now have Tuesdays free for writing, and I try to avoid email, social media and all distractions on Tuesdays.
Step 3 – I have chosen the mountain I want to start on – updating and improving ‘Isabel’s Choice’. This will be my first historical romance and is also the first in my French Connection series. So stakes are high (but I’m trying not to let that daunt me).
More steps still to come. I’ll be sharing my journey with you in my weekly blog posts, as well as my favourite writing tips. See you next week for #writingwednesday.
There are always plenty of reasons why we find it hard to focus on writing. I think I’ve been through most of them in the past few years. Which do you relate to?
- Too sick – I had two bouts of the flu a couple of years ago and it really knocked the stuffing out of me. I lost my voice for quite a while – you might think that if I couldn’t sing, then I would have more time to write, but it didn’t work out like that… I also sprained a finger, started ‘the change’, had sick kids, &c, &c. There is always something…
- Too busy – Like many writers, I also have a day job. One that keeps me very busy for 5 days a week and uses up a lot of my brain-power and energy. I also have 4 kids, a demanding house and run a choir in my spare time. Plus trying to find time for fitness, my husband and friends/family. So saying I’m too busy for writing seems like a reasonable excuse, doesn’t it?
- Too tired – because of all of the above, I’d often rather go home from work and collapse onto the couch in front of the TV, rather than try to find energy for some creative work. One only has so much energy…
- Feeling uninspired – we can’t always be ‘firing on all cylinders’ with great ideas for stories. Sometimes we just feel boring and uncreative. Sometimes giving up seems like the only sensible option.
- Feeling inadequate – how often do you experience imposter syndrome? every day? once a week? Ever say to yourself: “Everyone is better at this than me;” “I’m not good enough to do this;” or just “I’m not enough.” We are all our own worst critics. Don’t be too hard on yourselves and give yourselves a chance to show what you can do. You are enough. Let yourself shine.
- It’s too late establish a successful career. Actually, it is never too late. As long as we can still have ideas and write them down, we can be authors.
SO THE MORAL IS: – stop being ruled by lame excuses. Even if there’s a teensy bit of truth to our reasons for not writing, don’t let any of the excuses derail us entirely. Take a break if you need it, but don’t let it become permanent. If you are too sick to write, do some reading and research instead. There is always something you can do to keep your hand in, even if its just thinking about writing. Let yourself be human, but also believe that you can achieve great things. You can do it.
OK – Pep talk is now over. I’m going to get on with some writing. See you next #WritingWednesday
The world seems to get busier every year – so many demands on us all and so many distractions. Finding the time and space to disconnect from the bustle and be creative seems to be more and more difficult. So what can we do?
I’ve been thinking about this as I try to get back ‘on the wagon’ with my writing. I know I need constructive routines for writing and managing the business of being an #indie #author. To be honest, I’ve been doing a rubbish job the past few months. Everything has seemed too hard.
But after months of drought, I realise more than ever how much I need to #write. So I am making a stand. With myself and with the world that is overwhelming me.
First step – set aside time to be creative.
Second step – treat the time as sacred. No distractions. Turn off social media and email and leave phone upstairs. Easy, right? Wish me luck 🙂
I’ll leave you with this great article about protecting your creative #mindspace
I think that self publishing is hard work and really admire those who establish themselves successfully as indie authors – but there are still so may people who think that you need a “proper publisher” to be a success. That bias can’t help but rub off on us all.
How do you feel about self-publishing? Are you proud or embarrassed? I hope you’ll feel stronger after reading this post 🙂
How do you feel via Psychology of Success For Authors: Do You Think Self-Publishing is Second Best?
Brilliant article on seeking and growing from criticism
Source: Running the Gauntlet | Self-Publishing Advice Center