As writers, the writing job is never done. As you type The End on one story, the next is nudging to be written. There is editing and marketing. Contests to join and craft to study. And don't forget networking. Or book events and record keeping. I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting. The list is truly endless.
A writer could spend twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year doing writer stuff and still have things on the to-do list. It's an endless job that wears down some of the best of us.
At the start of the pandemic, I knew that being a social worker during a world-wide crisis was going to be time consuming. I should have altered my schedules and commitments from the get-go so my life was more manageable. But I'm guilty of allowing the business of busy-ness to get me spinning in circles and it's only when I force myself to pause that I can take stock of all the wisdoms I've accumulated during my writerly years that have kept my spins as 360's. Spin round, then keep going.
So, here's my short list, a refresher course for myself and for you.
1. You started writing for the love of the stories; don't let the business of it wear you down. Step back and remember: it's the words you love. Focus on them and move forward.
2. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself.
3. If you want to be a novelist, you have to write books.
4. Write down what you're doing every fifteen minutes. If you're playing solitaire during check-ins, delete it from your phone.
5. More than one path leads into the writer kingdom.
6. Doing a few things well is better than doing everything half-assed.
7. Don't forget to read.
8. Don't forget to exercise.
9. Don't forget to eat a healthy meal.
10. And finally, always remember that juggling balls is cool as hell. Dropping balls that cause you to trip and face plant in public is not so cool. Hold tight to your balls by letting go of some when you have to.
What sage tips do you suggest? I'm always looking to add to my list!