Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just Keep Swimming! (Or floating. Whichever!)

I'm interrupting my Ireland/Book Research travel updates because:

a) I've been back in the states for two months now

b) I realized I'm really sucking at updating


c) I was saving the world looking for a job.

 There's nothing like coming back from a writer's travel mission than to arrive back home and realize you no longer have a job. Such is the world now a-days! The good news is I fairly easily found a new one! But during the in between time I wasn't idle. I finished a short story and I'm almost finished with a second one, which needs to be done soon since I have a third short story begging me to put it on paper (so to speak).

Several wonderful blog-goddesses like Lizzy Charles and Kristen Lamb will tell you that the worst thing you can do as a writer is to stop writing. Even if you're like me and don't have your book (or short stories, screen plays, or poems) published. In fact, its especially important that you keep writing when you're in the throws of  a full blown "when-will-someone-say-YES!?" funk.

  It's easy to give up, to feel sorry for yourself, or feel the life force of creativity leaving your body. But you have to write. Even if you can't think of anything. Now, I'm going to be an honest person here. Well, an honest writer. You ready?

............. I haven't written in two weeks.

I know what you're thinking! 'You're being hypocritical! How dare you tell me to keep writing even when I can't think of anything, when you're not even taking your own advice!' But here's the thing. The big secret. ITS OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK. Really! You don't need to be writing every minute of every day. You'll burn yourself out! And sometimes characters just really don't want show up for work. And that's okay too. But there's a difference between taking a break and just plain ol' giving up.

 You don't have to write everyday, but you should write something. A line, a thought, a joke. Something! Something to keep you sharp, to remind you that you're a writer when at times you don't feel like one. I haven't been able to write because of my new job and the stress of getting used to new people. My brain is just too exhausted by long forty plus hours to even try and keep up with the snarky banter that my characters toss to each other in my head, let alone try to write it down during the weekend! But I'm getting back on my horse this week to finish up that short story that taunts me with its almost done-ness. I'm determined to finish it, and lucky me, my long hours at my new job are all done for the year!

 But the point is, don't give up. Keep writing even when you're feeling down from yet another rejection (or if you're like me, just a lot of non-responses). Keep writing. And you know what, while you're waiting for that big YES, try something else! Enter competitions for short stories (or novellas, or poems!), see if you can't put anything in an online magazine, and get some yeses--even if it doesn't result in a pay check it;s exposure, and you get fan mail! ;)

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