Not only have I let my writing projects pile up higher than the stack of comics I needed to buy at my local shop (it’s what happens when you neglect to pick them up for two months), but somehow everyone and his dog’s cousin is vying for my attention. I have friends who want to hang out just because, for their birthdays, etc. I sometimes run errands for my family or spend time with them. I have my increasingly demanding “day job.” I have hobbies I try to enjoy now and then.
All of this is eating into my precious writing time. I haven’t penned a word in the next Children of the Wells novella in a month, nor have I touched Hope’s War for a long time. My last Examiner article was in December. Yet here I am firing off a quick little blog because I resolved to be more consistent with posting content on my website. Blogging should be secondary to all my other writings.
I’ve heard that a writer should never blog about how he hasn’t been writing much. I broke that “rule” a long time ago, unfortunately. Besides, I hope I can use it as a lesson for aspiring writers.
Learn to say, “No.”
It’s totally okay to do that.
You’re only one person. You can’t do everything. If you want to be successful at anything—especially writing—it will take sacrifice. You’ll have to turn down many things, even good things, so that you can squeeze in that daily goal of 1,000 words or whatnot. You’ll probably upset some people, but the ones who love you most will understand. In fact, they may eventually adjust their expectations and schedules to better accommodate your goals.
I’m not sure how I became as “popular” as I am. I do, however, know that what I do with my time is my choice. I have no one to blame but myself if I miss a deadline or don’t get something done. I have an active mind that seeks as many creative outlets as possible. I’m also a bit of a weird writer in that I’m extroverted and have to come out of my writer-ly solitude to be with others. All of those things together can create a lot of tension. What am I saying? I know it does because I’m experiencing it right now!
That’s why saying, “No,” is an important skill to have. You can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try. You have to learn to make priorities and stick to them. Otherwise, you’ll lose your mind. I’m sure most loony bins have wards set aside for writers and other creatives who went crazy. You’ll have plenty of collaborators and time to write, but I doubt anyone will publish you. 😛
Anyway, I have places to go, stuff to do, people to kill. (Wait…did I say that out loud?)
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