Writer, Know Thyself

After last week’s post on Weighty Issues, I decided that what I really, really need in my life right now is MORE STRESS.

(OK, not exactly.)

Actually, I am theorizing that my recent increase in emotional eating is directly related to three factors:

  1. Too much spare time on weekday evenings (Mon – Thurs)
  2. Anxiety over submitting my first novel and waiting for responses
  3. Procrastination related to my next novel

All of which could be alleviated by getting into the flow of a new project.  So I’ve signed up for a Writer’s Online Workshop called 12 Weeks to a First Draft with the intention of kicking my fiction production back into high gear. 

The cost is expensive.  The lecture materials are aimed at first-time authors who have never completed a novel-length work of fiction.  The course content contains nothing new or earth shattering that I have not learned in the many other workshops, seminars, books on writing, author interviews, etc where I have previously invested many of my hard-earned dollars.

The scientific-minded man in my life asked, “WHY?!?!?  You are a talented writer.  Why don’t you just break down the task into weekly mini-goals and work through it?”

Why indeed.  That’s an excellent question.

My answer:  Writer, know thyself.

I honor my commitments.  That’s why I’m a great employee who can readily ask for recommendations from any former employer.  I was an honor student because my mother told me, “Your entire job in life is to get good grades and get a scholarship to college.”  Done.  If you want to get astrological, I’m Capricorn – work horse of the zodiac. 

And yet…I have this weird kink in my “Good Girl Friday” nature that causes me to let my own precious self down over and over and over.

If I had a contract or agreement with an editor to produce X number of pages by Y date, only a cataclysmic disaster would stop me from delivering those pages.

However, if I tell myself I need to produce X pages by Y date….hello Law & Order marathon on TNT.

Until that book contract arrives, I need to set up a surrogate editor/writer relationship.  Hence the expensive workshop with weekly assignments that must be turned in every Sunday for 12 weeks.  Hurrah!  Instant artificial editor.

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5 thoughts on “Writer, Know Thyself

  1. Hey, I hear you!! I am a ( sometimes ) science writer and the few times I had an editorial deadline really motivated me to finish on time and under the word limit.

    One of my favorite writers, on my shelf, is Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, a Daybook of Comfort and Joy, and she says, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”

    So slaywriter, thanks for reminding me to be inspired and motivated!

    • Sally,

      I’m not in this for “the money.” I have no delusions of grandeur. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize the real money in the writing/publishing game is in selling the dream to aspiring authors. But you can’t just say “pay me lots of money just so I can be your pseudo-editor.” You come up with a pretty website, you advertise a “new path to publication” for people who want to “beat the odds” then you sell them a dream.

      I don’t mean to be cynical.

      What I mean to say is that you are a marketing/social networking MACHINE! You’re a genius with this stuff. If you really want to be the person who charges lots of money for writers to turn in their work to you…well, with a little creativity and love, not to mention a snazzy marketing campaign, , you could easily be making a profit within a short time!

      • Of course, I was kidding.

        I agree with you about the real money being in selling something to wannabe writers, though. I’ve often thought myself that if I wanted to get rich I’d set up classes for wannabe writers. I’d hire a couple of teachers and away we’d go. But…I’d rather write novels than be rich. 🙂

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