Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Walk the Walk
Everybody always says (whether they are a writer or not), "You know, I could write a book, if only I had the time." Those of us who are writers know these people, have heard them say this, and we hate them. Admit it, we do.
Writing is not just something one does, it is something one is. A writer cannot not write. Simple as that. But in every field, there are folks who walk the walk, and those who only talk the talk. We see them every day in our writing groups, meetings, and the like. There are the writers who are writing, and the writers who only talk about writing. There's a point where you have to stop talking, put your butt in the seat, fingers on the keyboard, and actually do the deed. Start walking the walk.
1. Make time. For a week, keep a journal of your every move, everything you do. Note where the idling spots are, the wasted minutes, the waiting for buses, the time in front of reality TV shows you really don't like any more, maybe even meeting with writer friends for time that's more social than productive. These minutes add up.
Box up all that time and carve yourself an hour, maybe two in your daily schedule. This is now your writing time. You do nothing else during this time. You write, or you edit, or you rewrite (which is what most of this gig is anyway), you research, or you just stare at that blank screen or page until something comes to you. No matter how you go about it, that allotted time is for nothing more than writing.
Let everyone in your household know that this is your work time. Spouses, partners, children, and pets should all get the word that when you're at your desk (or wherever your workspace is) at a certain time, that this is your job. Do not disturb under any circumstances (except maybe fire or injury). Bothering the writer is forbidden. After all you're on the clock, and you are. Being self-employed is no different than any other job - time is money, money is time, and your time is worth money.
If you say you're a writer, then write. Don't just talk about it. Walk the walk!