Sometimes one has to step back and take an inventory of the direction of one’s writing activities. Note that I don’t say writing ‘career’ as it doesn’t feel like I have one. Does whether I am being paid for writing or not have anything to do with that? Time will tell.
Recently I caught myself out procrastinating, and I’m glad I did. As I hovered in the backroom of a particular social media platform waiting for someone else to be making something happen, (to suit me), I remembered the reviews I have wanted to do. That’s currently at least three books, and a fourth counting an August uni assessment. It also requires reading the books first!
Writing isn’t just about anticipating acceptances. It’s about writing reviews, whether for other writers, blogs or publishers. We indie authors all help each other, right?
So I need to sort my writing activity out. Currently I have several bits of work on the go, ie: short stories. Is this wise? Should I work on one thing at a time, or dive into a multi-tasking of writing projects? Like reading, I have about six books on the go, and that’s not including kindle. Is there a writer who just sits down and does one thing at a time? Maybe there is, and they are writing a novel? Something I am decidedly not doing as I’m happy with writing short stories, microfiction and poetry.
So keeping to the theme here, what do writers do when they are not actually writing? And I’m talking about writing-related tasks, not eating, sleeping etc.. Apart from actual writing, writers do a lot of other necessary things to keep their productivity afloat. This includes:
1) Engaging with other writers and publishers on social media. This needs discernment or time is lost.
2) Preparing work to submit. This includes finding beta readers, editing and layout, and sending submissions off to a publisher. Can take up quite some time.
3) Research. I am currently researching ideas for a poem which is something I’ve not done for poetry before.
4) Keeping notes and notebooks, preferably in a well-organised manner.
5) Writing the blog. Say no more…
6) Reading. This is an absolute requirement, not just for escape and sanity, but for ideas, comparisons and refreshment.
7) Reflecting on rejections and learning to tolerate them as part of the process. It can be a bitter pill, (disappointment), but it’s silver lining is that it moderates ego (ouch!) and so whilst learning new ways to improve one’s writing, it also helps you become a better person.
8) Doing interviews or interviewing other writers.
As from tonight Melbourne goes into stage four lockdown, so I’ve found that the best coping mechanism is to get really creative with my time. Some friends are doing it with food, as in making new dishes, bread, etc. It’s good to make friends with your mind, and do some meditation or mindfulness. Lots of Zoom calls and some interesting webinars are available too. (Writers festivals etc..) Make it easier. 💟🕯🔥😊🔥🕯💕