With every day that passes called off from work; I simply do nothing. I’ll watch youtube and type away at my book from seven years ago, and groan over my unsuccessful writing. I realize that while I write to write and tell a story or five twisted into a way it only makes sense to me; I could really avoid some of this agony by following ten different things.
1. Stop Reading “10 best ways to…”
Being subscribed to multiple news letters there’s always a ten best, ten things, or ten miracle secrets, I always wind up reading. What’s terrible about this is there are many commentaries which make me feel inadequate. For example one I read recently on e-book marketing talks of the “Dead” model of books; “This is an example of a dead book. The author only receives five downloads a day, only one paid download every other day. This merely results in a negative profit. More likely causes could be the writing isn’t captivating…” I wish I had sales like that! While these spawn good ideas that I painstakingly try to copy it only ever leads to more agony.
2. Stop spending my entire day off, writing.
So my muse, Hemingway, said a true writer writes everyday. Well I certainly do, but on my days off I seem to do nothing but leave my chair to smoke a cigarette or grab another beer. While sometimes my imagination is flowing and captivating, I only re-write what I wrote the next day resulting in a horrendous cycle of not-getting-anything-accomplished.
3. Stop staring at Statistics
While statistics are a good way to help formulate a snap shot of my writing performance, staring doesn’t make a difference. Punching numbers into a calculator doesn’t increase my odds, or ever make me feel any better. I sometimes literally stare at the bar graph or line chart and wonder why it continues to dip back to ZERO!
4. Stop trying to find a good place to write, and just write!
Searching for a good place to write only seems to take up more of my time that I could be spending writing. While location is important to inspiration, searching for a location along the beach is nearly impossible. I could stop in at Hillcrest sit at a cafe and write, but then my eyes are drawn to the men around me which inevitably leads to my discovery of the bar. Then, well, it’s all over from there. Thanks Hemingway.
5. Stop thinking of things I can buy when I don’t have the resources to buy
In a day I will get bored with writing or just demand a break from it. Then I begin to play with gadgets on my computer, all leading to things I could buy to “help” me out a bit. I need business cards, a good website, a nook, and more books on the topic of writing. I don’t have money for those sorts of things. I promise myself I will invest the money I make from my writing into those items when I begin making money. Is that wrong? Well, not going to happen for a little at least.
6. Spread out my time
Don’t worry about just my book. I have other platforms I need to continue to use. I hate getting emails from Examiner.com stating I’ve lost my status of “premier article presenter” if that even exists. While I have a big project in front of me, rewriting my old works for the release of my latest book, I can’t forget about those little side projects.
7. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
While appearing as a modern day Bo Radley might seem fun and twisted; there is nothing exciting about it. A hermit I can call myself. Approaching three months that I have been in San Diego and I barely know the names of anything around here, only the streets and highways I take to work. While worried about spending too much money, which I always seem to do, there are plenty of free things to do.
8. Pick up another lesson in Grammar
Folks, I believe I have said it since day one, but Grammar KILLS ME! I love to use comma’s and apostrophe’s where they aren’t really supposed to, go. (<-HAHA, get it!) Maybe if I took a small break from writing a thousand hours of my day away I could pick up a few valuable lessons in Grammar.
9. Stop stressing about my Query Letter
I literally have a thousand versions that all sound good to me. Randomly, while writing The Unexpected, I ‘ll get yet another idea for it. I then open up my choice of fifteen different word documents all containing hooks and bodies of query letters. Practice makes perfect, but right now. I don’t need to be worrying about the Query letter when I have all of these other things gathering.
10. Drink more beer
Actually that’s a bit of a lie, I should be drinking less. Though in moments of writers block or severe writer’s agony the icy cold refreshment usually represents a way to relax and just write. While I will spend the entire next day editing what I wrote while drinking beer at least I wrote. This is no way to go about writing though, as I should learn again from Mr. Hemingway and his friend Fitzgerald.
To sum things up. I need to let my craft be my craft while honing in on some of the not-so-fun aspects such as grammar. I will get there but maybe in the mean time I could take some of my own advice as listed above.
Be on the lookout! Not only is green grass in short supply here in the north, but so is creativity! Strike that… the creative spark is lacking. Over the past several weeks there has been a burden of snow upon us. As we prepare for these monstrous storms (all of which still prove to be serious to me) I have been found to be breaking my back over the new work load. Others have been spreading needless amounts of salt on their sidewalks, or piling snow into my boyfriends parking spot! In all of this there is little time for my mind to relax, but now I stress even more wondering where all of the creativity has gone.
I had a great month in August. I wrote in my blog more than once, and I had found my new best writing buddy, let alone a great new friend. The weather was hot, my tan was superb, and my body was finally bulking into what I had wanted since I was twelve. Now, apparently, I am preparing for hibernation (explains the added pounds, plus the unquenchable hunger), sleeping later, and missing the gym due to a “changing work environment”. So how do I go about enticing the creativity? The creativity to write in my blog, or to finish my long awaited book, or to write a damned query letter that attracts a bit more than flies!
Today was a great day, because I was able to entice a bit of that lazy creativity to seep through some invisible source and slowly drip into my subconscious which then slowly fed my alcohol infused conscious thought.
-Today is the day I thought about the ridiculousness of my mild excuses to myself.
-Today I thought about the amount of things I could be achieving by waking up two hours earlier than the past three years.
-Today I realized that I have just been lazy for a serious amount of time. Now the laziness hasn’t always been so. It started as enthusiasm over a new relationship. This enthusiasm slipped into comfort, which then eased into the laziness of not ensuring everything necessary to keep life in order was being completed on a regular schedule.
I sit here on the eve of the day I will get up at 9am and testify that this will help to establish a balance in my life which will allow my professional obligations to be fulfilled, while satisfying the personal obligations that I have set. If I don’t post something new on here within a week, either I have failed, or I have been over run with restaurant obligations.
Till the final determination…
Caleb A. Mertz
There are only a few things that come across my mind while I’m sitting in front of my computer. Many of them involve my plot to take over the world through literature. Another involves me owning an empire of five different restaurants, and the last is just getting my latest novel represented. All of these things are grandiose things that take time and serious effort along with a strong willed back bone, yet discouragement shows up yet again.
The past year of my life has been guarded by work, and more work. I’ve blogged about this before. Then I ask myself, “why, a whole year later, am I still making no sales and in no better situation than I was then?” BOOM Discouraged! I sit at this damn computer and research all day long. I read other’s blogs, information about marketing, get caught up in crappy sites that try downloading viruses, and by the end of the day there’s little to show for the hours I “wasted” away.
I sit back in what some may call a wake of disappointment, or a self depreciating stare, or maybe even a slight trickling into the bottomless depths of depression. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to get out and do something. I had to go and see friends, listen to music, smell the fresh air, be surrounded by family, drink a glass of wine with my brother, drink another with my sister-in-law, then a third by myself. I kicked off my socks, rank with the smell of the gym from earlier in the day, and dawned a fresh pair before I made way to my car. I drove, in rush hour traffic, along 22, nearly falling asleep before the split decisions that I used to love came into play.
I diverged from the highway and sped along little side roads. Every curve yielding a surprise I hoped wouldn’t be fatal. My windows were down and the sun was nearly gone by the time I had found Nazareth. Here I slowly careened past moms house to see no one was home. I then breezed past my brother’s house to see that there wasn’t a single light on. Then without skipping a beat I drove through the old roads that I used to triumph over. Roads where memories were made of my friends and I driving in my old pontiac without a care in the world. The breezed pattered past my ears while I inhaled the cigarette that had a refreshed taste to it out here in the sticks. I thought about stopping at some of my old stops, but continued to drive past them.
In my driving I had found what I thought had been lost. I once drove to clear my mind, but with the rising gas prices back in ’08 I had to stop. Now today I drove and felt good about everything around me. I watched stars pass my window and the mysterious moving light, which in years before I would have thought to be a UFO. I came home as somebody I thought I had lost only a few hours prior. So, thank you, car ride. You helped me overcome my worst adversary, discouragement.