by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
In the grand attempt to balance our lives and writing, it seems writing falls to the back burner quite easily. Is this because we don’t give it a high priority or are we all doing too much?
Carving time from our busy lives when day jobs, volunteer work, kids, pets, in-laws, parents, spouses, friends and telemarketers want a piece of us, creates tension. Not a good kind. It’s like my yearly mantra with my friend Carol, “Next year we’re going to get organized.” Twenty-five years later we’re still not organized, but we’re ever hopeful.
One must block time to get organized and stay organized. There goes writing down the slippery slope again until we get organized. And then last week I decided to lower my tv cable bundle bill and switch to a new cell phone company. NOBODY has enough time for what that requires. I can buy a car faster than switch cell phone carriers, by a good hour with minutes to spare.
Let’s say we actually get our book or article written, edited and ready to go. I publish using Print-On-Demand. So even when we survive the indie publishing swamps and make it to the other side, then the other combat boot drops.
When a new writer looks at all the marketing today’s authors need to do to promote our wares, a sane writer goes back into her cave and doesn’t come out. Ever. Social media can be a blessing, curse and huge time suck. (I spent two hours on Saturday merrily picking photos for Pinterest, so trust me on this.)
Do I do too much? Yes. It’s the bright shiny thing problem for us right brains. Squirrel! Am I trying to change? Yes. Will I get organized and have a calm life? One can hope. A buddy at my volunteer job thinks I am the most organized person he knows. Egad. The rest of you are in big trouble.
Writing I enjoy. For me editing is like getting my teeth cleaned and a mammogram at the same time. So what gets me editing? Bribes. I resorted to a pinky swear promise with a co-worker at the day job last Thursday. I swore to actually do more editing on the second edition of my non-fiction book titled Writing War Stories. So when late Saturday night rolled around and I’d done everything but that, including rearranging my patio furniture and rose garden, I bribed myself.
Sunday morning I drove 30 miles to the Huckleberry Festival in Welches, Oregon. Bought my gallon of picked huckleberries and a cookbook, ate huckleberry pancakes and drove back home. Then I edited for three hours. Yes! Sometimes all the goal setting, planning, want, drive, organizing and passion just doesn’t do it. Whatever it takes, find your bribe and get ‘er written.