Start the Car

This year, my goal is to finish writing my holiday stories before the end of November (before the end of October would be even better). That means a lot of work — writing one story for every day of the year, plus editing, typesetting for Kindle, publishing the ebooks, typesetting for print, publishing the paperbacks, getting covers made, doing marketing, etc.

But as I’ve written in the past, I only have so much creativity each day, and when I use it up, I’m out. A piece of advice I give people who ask me “how do you get so much writing done?” is to tell them to do it at the start of the day, when they’re fresh, before they use up all their creativity. Unfortunately, I don’t always take my own advice.

On the day I’m writing this post, I got an email from an event organizer that required me to write a blurb about myself and reach out to some other folks about getting help for the event. I wouldn’t say it used up all my creativity (the blurb was all of five sentences), but it did distract me from writing. It’s currently 7:38am, and normally I’d have already started writing for the day. I’d probably have at least 250 words down, and a good idea of where the story was going.

Today, though, all I can think about is the event, and what’s going to go into planning it. (And one of my partners, who is asleep in my bed, who I’m going to go wake up at 8:00 for previously-agreed-upon sexytimes.) I went to my spreadsheet with the holiday list in it and just stared at it. No ideas, and — worse — no desire to come up with any. Which is why I’m writing this blog post.

Some writers can sit down and make themselves write. They’ve created a habit, and they stick to it. I’d like to think that in the past few months (I started writing these stories in mid-November 2022) I’ve created one too, but clearly I haven’t. I get distracted from writing very easily. Once I start doing it, I keep doing it until I run out of creativity and inspiration, but if I don’t start the car, it’s not going to go anywhere.

Right now I’m sitting in my driveway, pretending to drive. Maybe later today I’ll actually get moving. I don’t have a ton of meetings at work today; maybe I can squeeze in some writing between them. I’m certainly not doing any writing tomorrow (I’m getting together with the person from this blog post in the morning, and then I have meetings all afternoon, and then I’m taking the dog to the vet after work). And I usually don’t write on the weekends, mostly because my medication schedule is different and I spend weekend mornings asleep on the couch.

Writing, for me, is a very tenuous thing. I wish it wasn’t. But it is.

Still, I’m going to get these stories published if it kills me. I might have to write some in 2024, but if it happens, it happens. I want to hit the deadline, but realistically speaking, that is a lot of writing.

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