Time Waits For No One
Writing is a solitary endeavor undertaken by people who seek justification for their efforts in the admiration of others. Sometime it is a fruitless search. Not all writers are authors, or at least published. Some never will be, lacking the talent or the will to go that one necessary step to author-hood. Unlike many writers, I can write full-time. I do not have to squeeze in a few minutes writing between bouts of work, school, kids, or family. This allows me a unique perspective on the writing process. Warped and weird minds (Such as mine) can always come up with ideas for stories. We are virtually surrounded by the bizarre, the impossible, and the unlikely. The daily news, magazines, and the Internet bombard us with countless ideas. The actual process of putting pen to paper (Or fingers to keyboard) entail a lengthy procedure of fermenting these ideas into a tale worth telling.
I am unfamiliar with writer’s block. I’ve never had it. I usually work on several stories at the same time. If I bog down, I switch stories. Often, something that fails miserably in one story works in another. If all else fails, I pick up my guitar and play for a while until the muse re-emerges from her eclipse. Having said this, I realize it can happen. Ideas are seeds that need time to take root in the mind. The challenges of everyday life are a wind trying to scatter these seed.
Making the best possible use of writing time is essential. This entails discipline most artists do not feel comfortable with. You can’t force yourself to write or paint, but you can force yourself to make the most of the time available. First, write. Constant editing is a sucker’s way to avoid writing. Edit only when something you write conflicts with something you’ve written earlier and it’s fresh in your mind. Otherwise, save editing until the story is complete.
Organize yourself. Write on day, edit another, and do social media or marketing another. It’s too easy to slip from writing to something else and let the time you have fritter away. Be thinking about the story. Keep a notepad beside your bed. I’ve often woken up in the middle of the night with a fresh perspective or a weird dream sequence that I could utilize.
Allow time for social media. I don’t mean Farmville. I mean putting yourself out there in a manner that doesn’t make you a spammer. Remember, you’re selling yourself, not a book. Unless you have only one book in you, focus on a writer’s platform. Find groups specializing in your field or interests. Fellow writers buy books, but they’re a harder sell. Social media is also a great way to find advice, helpful tips, and open submissions.
Never lose hope. Every writer worth his or her salt has received his or her fair share of rejections. Get used to it. Take advice from the ones that offer it and consider them golden. Ignore the others. They’re not a personal condemnation. They just didn’t want the story for some reason. Reread it to see if you can determine why. Sometimes reading a rejected story makes the obvious mistakes stand out.