Teetering on the Writer’s Brink


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Teetering on the brink. It’s a cliché, but apt, because I’m getting ready to fall head first into March. I’m gonna be swamped; I just know it! But sometimes taking a deep breath and leaping is what it takes to get somewhere, and I definitely need to be somewhere other than where I am.

I’ve been complaining to anyone who’ll listen that my current w.i.p. is lagging. Of course the complaining isn’t doing anything to help. What I need is a burst of enthusiasm – something to get my BIC (butt in chair) and keep it there. I’ve reluctantly decided accountability might be what it takes.

So, beginning tomorrow I’ve committed to participate in two very public, wild writing endeavours:

 

Seekerville Speed Book, aka Speedbo, is, in Glynna Kaye’s words, an opportunity to fully focus on that new story idea or current Work in Progress (WIP). It’s a chance to join your fellow ‘Friends of Seekerville’ (both pubbed and unpubbed) in an energizing month of fun, hard work and productivity.”

 

The other, March Madness, is Denise Jaden’s challenge: If you have a writing project you’re ready to start, or a work in progress you’re ready to finish, come and join the fun. Accountability is our main aim and the more support we have, the easier it will be to sail on through the month of March, bouncing along on each others successes.” In addition to cheering us on toward our writing goals, Denise has arranged for daily check-in sites and prizes to be won.

Care to join me? I’ll be here on my usual schedule, although I probably won’t make it around to other blogs quite as often while I’m scrambling to gather my novelling words. But if your output needs a little boost, you’re welcome to join in either or both endeavours, by signing in at the appropriate website — just click on the logos above to get there — today.

Or, for something less formal, check in here throughout the month and let me know how your writing is going. I’m a good listener. 🙂

Either way, I’m determined March is going to be my month to take the leap and make it past the wasteland and back into the verdant land of productivity again. Beginning tomorrow morning I’m adopting author Robert Dugoni’s battle cry: This day we write!” (By the way, if you need a powerful shot of motivation, click on the link and scroll down to hear Robert’s audio clip.)

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Carpe Diem for Writers

On her blog today Carol Benedict includes a music video of “Seize the Day” sung by Carolyn Arends.  Only one of the verses makes reference to writing a novel but the theme is one that reminds me of how important carpe diem is if I’m serious about my goals.

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“Life slips away like hourglass sand,” begins each chorus, and life really does. This moment, this day, will never be ours to do over again. Each one wasted puts our goals one step farther into the distance until with enough procrastination they can end up beyond reach. Does this mean every moment of every day must be spent productively — writing, revising, marketing? Would doing something other than such things always be a waste of our time?

If I could sit on two different sides of the table I could argue about this with myself. But I don’t think I will. I’ll ask your opinion.

What constitutes productivity for you? How do you achieve it?

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Morning Madness

I don’t know how typical I am of most writers, but mornings just aren’t my time to function. I recently read an interview* that Jessica Morrell did with author Diana Gabaldon, and Diana said, “I get up around 9 and get a Diet coke and stagger around bumping into things and send e-mails to get my synapses reconnected. And somewhere around 10:30 or 11, I will actually be compos mentis enough to write.”

 

That describes me perfectly! The only difference is Diana Gabaldon writes at night while I’m usually sleeping. She has an excuse; I don’t. My problem is that I’m just not a morning person.

 

The world isn’t designed for people like me. Contractors are on their jobs walking beams and operating dangerous machinery before my eyes have opened. Supermarket clerks are checking out grocery orders before my feet have found my slippers. In my previous life I was a teacher and I’m pretty sure anything I taught before the recess bell was done on auto-pilot.

 

But I love being a writer! What other job allows such freedom and flexibility? As long as I meet submission deadlines it doesn’t matter if I sleep late, work in my nightgown or take off for parts unknown on a whim. I could be in trouble, however, if someone phones too early and expects me to carry on a coherent conversation!

 

I have a fridge magnet that says, “I would like mornings better if they started at some other time.” The world’s obsession with performing productively by 9 a.m. just isn’t for me!

 

* “The Writer”, July 2008, p. 21