The theme this month is a writer’s life. Well, the unfortunate truth is that not all of us are just writers. Many of us have day jobs or – even more time and energy consuming – are full-time mothers.
So what? Isn’t that how we all started out? Squeezing in words around whatever job we had when inspiration struck. Yes. True. But how long did you take to finish that first book – or even the first book you sold? Chances are good that you had the luxury of time. Some weeks were great and you could bang out 5,000 – 10,000 words in a drenching of motivation. And then other times, life happened. Work got busy. People got sick. You had jury duty. And the writing fell by the wayside.
Here is a recap of the last two weeks of my life. I quit my job, and had to frantically wrap everything up. I didn’t want to leave (aside from escaping my nightmare of a boss), so it was pretty much full-on emotional turmoil every night, which cut into my writing time. I went to a release party for my besties, which sucked up an entire night of writing. Went to the dentist because my night guard need adjusting, which meant I had tooth pain and wasn’t sleeping….which made me exhausted and difficult to write.
Then I got sick. Upper respiratory infection that knocked me out flat the same day we visited our accountant for taxes and I attended my chapter’s Board meeting. We canceled our last day of the job celebration dinner and theatre tickets. I laid on the couch moaning and got no writing done. I’d planned to write for 2 days straight and get ahead. Instead, I’m actually behind. And then….
Started my new job on Monday. So sick that I went straight from work at 6 pm to urgent care. Exhausted, I managed to only get out 500 words. And Tuesday I released RISKING IT ALL, book 1 in my Naked Men series with a brand new-to-me publisher. Because of the new job, I had to do all my promo for release week at night. Which left no time for writing in between my coughing fits.
Let’s be clear – I am not complaining (except for being sick, ’cause I was miserable). Because this sort of thing happens all the time. Life always interrupts. A writer’s life means having a full time normal life…and then putting a full-time writing life on top of it. Kind of like those sandwiches where they stuff french fries and cold slaw beneath the bread of an already enormous sub. This is the point I am making. Contracts and deadlines in the writing world are just as iron-clad as the ones you have with your lawyer and the IRS. This isn’t a hobby. This is your job.
So yeah, I took some unavoidable sick days. Even though I felt incredibly guilty about not writing. Not that I could’ve if I’d tried. For reals. And you know what? I’m going to have to pay for them. I’m going on an already planned writing retreat this weekend. On top of working up blurbs for a new series, I’ll have to do everything I didn’t get to in the last two weeks. Which means copy edits on book 2, plotting all of book 4 (and I seriously have zero ideas currently) and writing 7,000 words in book 3.
That, my friends, is the reality of a writer’s life.