Where have I been? Good question. I’ve been places I should’ve been: editing my novel, seeking out readers, writing, and letting my mind wander. And I’ve been places I shouldn’t have been: Internet, video games, cuticle care, and letting my mind wander. It’s good for any kind of artist to let his or her mind go once in a while, take a break from the demands of creating something others expect to be perfect. Of course, this can be taken too far. Have I done enough in the last week to make my being home worth it? No.
So it’s time to reevaluate. Do I want to do this? Am I crazy for trying to make a career out of writing fiction? The answer to both of these questions is yes. So, how do I succeed? What do I need to change? I need to have goals in mind that are more defined than “get my book published.” Yes, I want to get The Weeds… published, and published soon, but what about all the other steps I need to take to get there. I need to get my name out, expose myself (literally?) through social media networks, get some of the stories I’ve been sitting on for a decade published, research agents and markets, and yada yada yada. I need to be something I am not without losing sight of who I am.
I need to get serious. How? By twisting my arm behind my back and dunking myself in the toilet bowl until I get it into my head that this isn’t going to come together without work. I need to be harder on myself. I need a plan. So, here it is: I’ve made a list of seven things I can work on during my writing hours each day. I’m not allowed to do anything else (unless it’s putting out a house fire). I’m going to make a sheet everyday with these seven tasks listed, and write the times I work on each; this will ensure that I am spreading my time between tasks logically.
Here’s my list:
- WRITE (this is a no-brainer)
- EDIT (no fun, but necessary)
- REVIEW (reviews are what gets my writing going when I’m blocked)
- BLOG (hi)
- MARKET RESEARCH (this little piggy…)
- SOCIAL MEDIA (friend me, k?)
- ENRICHMENT (I’ll only pull this card when none of the others are flowing; enrichment means reading articles, books, and such, specifically on the craft of writing)
Where’s reading? Reading is vital to any writer, but I get enough time to read in my schedule already. If I were to make it a part of my list, I’d find myself too easily lost in a book.
So that’s my plan. I’ll let you know how it goes. Perhaps you can see for yourself, follow me on Twitter and see me expose myself. Or maybe not.