I’m also an author, so I occasionally bore non-writers with posts about that. The other day, my friend Bob Hurlbert told me he shares those posts with his writing group, and that gave me an idea.
Every Tuesday, I’ll post something about the writing life. It might be a tip, a bit of wisdom, a reminder, a strategy, a triumph, or an admission of failure. I want to share with you, and I hope you’ll reciprocate.
What works for you, and what doesn’t? What are you learning? How do you keep up with everything? Any tips or tools to share? Spill it, sisters and brothers.
Because the writing life ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. (What the heck does that mean, anyway? Is it from a time when people gathered nuts, maybe? And then they cracked them and found, I don’t know, ants? Mold? But I digress.)
All my life, I dreamed of being a writer. I thought I would spend lovely days writing, and when my books were done, I’d bask in the adoration and awards. Not to mention significant royalties.
As time passed, and I got the true picture of what I’d have to do to achieve success, I got so depressed I thought I might give up. But that would have been like giving up breathing, so now I’m stuck.
Here, off the top of my head, are some of the responsibilities of a professional writer.
- You make plans, setting goals and objectives.
- You budget time and money.
- You hire contractors (e.g. web designers, editors, cover designers, formatters, etc.)
- You write and deliver speeches, and/or teach workshops and/or classes.
- You perform marketing and publicity tasks.
- You belong to professional organizations, attend meetings, and perhaps do volunteer work.
- You build networks of friends and partners.
- You stay up-to-date through constant learning.
Besides the fun stuff above, you must take care of body and mind. To that end, I try to maintain a healthy work/life balance, which means family, love, exercise, and occasionally losing myself in a movie or art gallery.
But the operative word is try. And right along with that is fail. For example, this will publish Tuesday morning, just as I begin a four-day babysitting gig. (“Family.”) So you might not hear from me until Saturday.
In his famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl said humans are happiest when aiming for some kind of goal or purpose. It might be as simple as not overeating, or as big as world peace. My goal is to create a life in balance, one that supports the writing life. I get frustrated, but I enjoy the struggle.
So for the next few months, until I run out of ideas or you beg me to stop, I’ll post another installment of The Writing Life each Tuesday. Let me hear from you.
And we’ll continue to discuss positive, powerful aging every Friday.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pack tomorrow’s lunch.