There are times when you break still another rule, or you find yourself slowly sliding down the cindery slope to complete burnout. You know the target rule: WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY!
That bit of advice usually comes from the big guys—or gals—who have made names for themselves by cranking out predictable genre tomes and have the time to tell us, “Write every day! Write 500 words, surely you can do that! If not, write about that ugly bug that just crawled out of your coffee cup. Go jump off a bridge. Write about how you survived, or how nice your funeral was.”
If you’re a full-time writer, bye-bye, see you in the bookstore. If you’re a student, a waitress, a nurse, a cop, a dentist, a retiree who’s taken notes or kept a journal and you’d like to turn your work into a book, keep reading.
First, form an idea of where you want to concentrate your efforts. What’s your goal? A memoir for your family? Or memoir that might sell to the general public—like growing up in a circus? Poetry? Short stories? Novels? Nonfiction?
Then: 1) take writing courses 2) join a writers’ group 3) join a writers’ organization that offers seminars and conferences to help you move toward your goal 4) subscribe to a magazine for writers 5) be aware that you’ll need proficiency in-and money for-social media, marketing and managing your new venture.
I’ve had writers tell me how strung out they are from pitching at libraries, book fairs, festivals, and bookstore promotions; or sitting at a computer trying to keep up with querying, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all the rest of the knockoff communications gimmicks.
Anyway, where I was going with this was that you can become overwhelmed and unproductive by both writing and the non-writing business and communications demands on your time. That’s the time to rein in the fiendish, fiery hounds of hell dragging you down that cindery slope! WHOA! NO!
Several weeks spent celebrating and reconnecting with various family members is coming to a close for me. About the only things I wrote during this time were grocery lists, notes on places to visit, and urgent email replies. It was a much-needed sabbatical that has me eyeing my desktop projects with renewed energy and ideas. So if you’re feeling a little singed around the edges, WHOA! Take a break and DO NOT WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY! Heresy? Maybe. Does it work for me? Yes.