Friday, February 10, 2017

Discipline and the Indie Writer

I could make a lot of BDSM jokes with that title because (1) Alter Ego writes that genre and (2) I have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old American male.

Which meant I was rolling on the floor in tears when the Russian hookers/golden showers story broke.

But that's not the point I wanted to make.

If you're a regular reader, you know I've had a harder than usual struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Thankfully, we had a full day of sunshine yesterday so I'm feeling better than I have been through the month of January.

Bu last month, EGADS! Not only was I dealing with the physical issue, but my own lack of empathy for myself. Normally, I get up, brew some tea or pour a cup of coffee if DH made some, and write my blog post if one is due. Then I work on a wip.

Usually, I can do 1,000 to 1,200 words in a couple of hours. At the end of that time, DH and I break for lunch and watch a program. Currently, we flip between Season 7 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Season 7 of Star Trek Voyager. DH paraphrases Dr. Sheldon Cooper and says we watch them in the order in which Rick Berman wanted us to be disappointed.

By the time the episode is done, I go pick up Genius Kid. (I'll be sooo happy when he has his driver's license. I think.) Then I write another 1,000 to 1,200 over the course of two hours before I have to consider prepping for supper.

If the guys have something going on, I can squeeze in another hour or two of writing time. But to be perfectly honest, I've been catching up on Season 11 of Bones or binging on Arrow. (I fully blame Angie for the Arrow fixation!)

Needless to say, I've been mad at myself for not being able to concentrate during my normal writing times. Heck, I haven't even had the energy to leave the apartment and head to one of my writing haunts to jumpstart the process.

So what does my bitching and whining have to do with discipline?

The people who are accused of "fast writing" (like me) aren't writing faster than anyone else. We have the discipline to keep our butt in the chair (or standing in front of our computer stand). We spend the time actually writing/typing. We don't check e-mail/Facebook/new feeds constantly. We don't play games on our computers.

Well, all right. I admit to playing Mah Jong. I swear I only do it after the first five hundred words are written. And truth be told, if I can make to that five hundred, I usually can't stop to play Mah Jong.

But when I maintain my writing discipline, I can hit 3,600 words a day. And frankly, that's wa-a-ay slower than a lot of prolific writers I know.

The issue with indie writers is that we're not faced with external deadlines, such as detailed by our publishers in contracts. Any deadlines are completely arbitrary.

In order to succeed, we have to want to write. We must enjoy writing. Otherwise, there's a zillion other thing to do with our time.

My schedule above? That's only the current schedule. The one I've been following since 2015. Once GK has his driver's license, it will change. And when he moves out, my schedule will probably change again. And that's okay.

When you sit in the chair, or stand, to type, or write long-hand, isn't important. That fact that you do so consistantly is the important thing if you want a career as a writer.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, that's pretty much how it works. [nodnod] As Misty Lackey says, it's about getting your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard and doing the damn work.

    And yeah, sometimes getting in the proper ready-to-do-work-now position is tough. :/ But if you actually want to be a writer, you're constantly working on making it there.

    (I fully blame Angie for the Arrow fixation!)

    You're very welcome! [grin/curtsy]