Monday, September 29

I know you won't believe me

I know you won’t believe me, but sometimes it’s so difficult being a writer that it’s hard to open the WIP file in the morning. You play 25 games of Solitaire or you catch up on Candy Crush, you answer all your emails including the ones from political parties that say “we haven’t heard from you lately—send money”, and you clip your toenails because, hey, they’ll need it soon.

You refill your coffee cup and wonder whether to have Cheerios or leftover chili for breakfast. You check out Facebook, scrolling down for 17 minutes because you know there was something there yesterday you meant to read. You let the dog out even though he doesn’t want to go.

You look at the vacuum cleaner.

Yesterday, you wrote 10 pages, even though in dawn’s early light (hm…nice phrase…wonder if it’s been used) it’s probably all dreck. Ah, being a writer means you can use words like "dreck" and no one thinks a thing about it. What? Oh, as I was saying, as a reward for those 10 pages, you spend, oh, longer than you should reading blogs. The ones written by your friends, by the writers who are so good they make your teeth green and painful because you spend all your time biting back envy, by people you just want to keep up with because you think they’re interesting.

You refill your coffee cup and let the dog in even though he doesn’t want to come. You decide on cold pizza for breakfast and eat it standing at the open door of the refrigerator. Maybe there are cookies somewhere. You find them.

Determined now, and slightly nauseated, you return to the computer. You read more blogs. Trad writers who put down indies. Indie writers who put down trad. Hybrids who say Can’t we all just get along?

Your husband (or anyone else you share a house with) gets up and wanders past. “Whatcha doing?”

“Working.”

“Going okay?”

“It’s hard. Really hard.”

Sympathetic noises. You check your email again. You look at Facebook again. You straighten the top drawer in your desk. Maybe you should get dressed.

But first you have to open that file, in case someone walks by and can tell just by looking that you’re on game 43 of Solitaire and haven’t written a printable word. So fine. Fine. You’ll open it. There, are you satisfied? It’s open.

Now you can get dressed. Well, as soon as you read over the stuff from yesterday. 

Which isn’t half bad. Not bad at all. And if you just finish it up like this…

The door? Someone’s at the door? Oh, the UPS man. How can it be two o’clock already? You should have gotten dressed, but you just need to finish that one little place. Why has the guy in brown stopped? You didn’t order anything.

Copies! Oh, glorious day, it’s author copies! They’re beautiful! See them? Show them to the roommate. Snap pictures. Leave open box in the middle of the floor and go back to the WIP because you’re completely enthralled with it. You can write another 15 minutes.

Dark? When did it get dark?


I know you won’t believe me, but sometimes being a writer is the best job there is. Hard? Nah. Piece of cake.

28 comments:

  1. You sure nailed it, Liz. Been there, done all that, and still I write. There's a word for people like us...let's see, what was it? No, not that one. The other one. Oh, yeah--Writer! Thrilled to be one, grumpies and all.

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  2. You nailed it. Except I'd have used the vacuum, and also cleaned the window about the kitchen sink which always seems to need a wipe. And then I'd have gone for my walk, because I'd get to listen to an audio book, and that's research, right? Alas, I'm still waiting for a box of author copies - ebooks just won't stay in their box, hehe.

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    1. LOL. I use the vacuum only under duress (if the carpet's crunchy), though I have been known to wipe down the kitchen counter more than once.

      That is one bad thing about ebooks, too, the sensations of touch and smell are missing. That shouldn't matter, but sometimes it does.

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  3. Have you had hidden cameras installed in my house, Liz? What do I have to do to get the footage back? lol Great post...and I miss the feel and smell of books (a lot), too.

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    1. Great minds think alike--even without cameras! :-)

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  4. Great blog, Liz. I too have sometimes gone to amazing lengths to avoid getting down to the business of writing. Suddenly, I feel a burning need to clean out a closet that been a junk heap for years. On the other hand, sometimes I get stuff done that would never have been completed without my Advanced Avoidance Techniques!

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    1. That's very true. That's good, Vic--we'll just keep looking at the positive side!

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  5. Enjoyable post - thanks for the morning smiles. I need them to face my WIP...

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    1. See there, you're off and running! Have a great day.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, D. It's one of those things where I know I'm not the only one!

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  7. Oh, Liz, this is so me, especially these days!

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    1. Oh, Alison, aren't we lucky, though? We get to be retired, yet...not!

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  8. In a word? Convicted! LOL! Matter of fact, I received my UPS delivery of Sisters in Spirit while living out the very type of moments you describe in this post. Bravo, Gem! :-) Were you peeking in my windows?? xo <3

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    1. LOL. The cool thing was that 15 minutes after the books came, I got the mail and there was a nice advance check. It was an awesome day! Always good to see you, Marianne!

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  9. So true! I cleaned house this morning instead of sitting down to write.

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    1. Oh, Mel, you got it wrong. You're only supposed to LOOK at the vacuum cleaner!

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  10. lolol. I have done everything but WIP. Sigh. Launching book is working--right?

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  11. We all have "one of those days" far too often, Liz, but it was a delightfully wicked read! Which reminds me, I'm supposed to be re-training myself not to procrastinate so much...

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    1. LOL. I don't think this post would have been part of your training manual! Are you going to the retreat?

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    1. LOL. There are a lot of us, aren't there?

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  13. Yes, Liz, some days it's just too tempting to lay on the couch and watch mindless television, I mean, watch riveting narratives in order to study dramatic style and plot points.

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    1. LOL. I do love a little temptation here and there!

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  14. That was wonderful! And I'm still soo in love with that cover!

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