Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

As I've mentioned in at least one post here before, in 2007 I wrote over 500,000 words, most of which have been (or will be) published. This year I'm on target to have written roughly 350,000 words by years' end. Not quite as...intrepid as last year, but still nothing to sneeze at.

How do I do it, you ask, plus work an outside job?

Here's my tip for the day: I treat my writing like a job, and you should, too. It's not a hobby for me. It's not something I do because I have to be creative. I do it because I'm determined to make this a career. I can't wait for inspiration to strike; I park my butt in the chair and write. Just about every day.

Of course, I don't have children or a husband to distract me, so I realize my situation is different than many other writers'. But I will say this: you must set aside specific time to write, and demand that your family and friends respect that. Ask your spouse to watch the kiddies for an hour or two each night so you have uninterrupted writing time. Non-writer friends might call, knowing you're home, and ask you to do something/go somewhere. Learn to say no.

Listen. You have to want this. You have to want to write more than you want to go out with friends, more than you want to watch the latest TV show, more than just about anything. Because once you're under deadline contractually, it's a world of difference than when you're just writing in the hopes of being published.

Editors are people, too, and understand when kids get sick or the husband loses his job and/or you have to go to work to make ends meet. But they're business people as well, and if they have authors who don't meet deadlines, well, after very much of that those editors will be in the unemployment line. Understand that. Publishing is a business full of business people who have a bottom line to meet.

My final thought: Sometimes the only thing that separates a published writer and an unpublished one is persistence. Park your butt in the chair and write. Every day.


Colleen Love said...

Hi Sherrill!
Happy Tuesday! I have to say, plunking my butt down in the chair to write is a vacation for me!

While I am a stay-at-home mom, there is no rest for the wicked.:)

I homeschool my two little ones, I am the assistant to a successful horse trainer and maintain her barn and 5 horses she owns. I am also married to a Scorpio... *rolls eyes* lol* That is a chore in its self! LOL He's a good guy, no complaints! :D
But, while he is saving the world on his PS3, I am sitting next to the surround sound speakers, lost in my own little world. It's a blissful bit 'o paradise, I tell ya!:D

That is the best advise ever. Sadly, until someone develops a plug in device that will automatically download your thoughts to computer, ya gotta plant yourself!

Hope you've had a productive day!


Sherrill Quinn said...

A plug-in device that will download your thoughts--now, *that* I could use! Although I think it's as much the rhythm of typing that helps me as anything...

Hope you're having a good week, Colleen. :)