When I first started writing three years ago, I put my publishing schedule together each year in January. But last year it didn’t work out so well. After several troll attacks that really had me questioning why I bothered to do some of the things I do, I took a step back from writing, from promoting, from pretty much everything involved in publishing books. As a result, I finished fewer novels than I had originally planned. It was a frustrating time for me, but with time came the ability to let it all go.
So now, I’m on a roll. I’ve figured out my publishing schedule through the end of 2015 already, and for the last 8 days, I’ve written over 6,000 words a day. It feels great. I guess the only thing getting in my way is that thing that distracts every writer. I call it … SQUIRREL!
There’s nothing more intimidating than a blank page to a writer. Even for someone who’s prolific, a writing goal set for the day is an obstacle to get over. That’s where the squirrel comes in to make things even more difficult.
Today I was typing out my first paragraph of the day, and it crossed my mind that I hadn’t checked on the health of a friend of mine who had a fall off his bike. I thought I should probably stop writing for a minute and send him a text.
Fact of life for a writer: Any excuse to stop writing can and will present itself in the midst of writing towards a deadline.
I knew I’d meet my word count goal by lunchtime, so my friend’s text could wait. I convinced myself to get back to writing and leave the texting for later.
I typed another paragraph, but as I started on another, I thought of a puppy I’d seen online that I really wanted to buy. I could just go look at her adorable picture once more…
I had 1,500 words done and suddenly, I thought it might be a nice idea to do a load of laundry …
And send an email…
And post something to Facebook…
And, and … and …
SQUIRREL! SQUIRREL! SQUIRREL! SQUIRREL!
I think you get the idea. The writer’s bane is a bunch of wild squirrels. The only way to manage them is to herd them into a little corner of the room and deal with them after the word count is done.
The interesting thing is that once the writing is done, the herd of squirrels has dwindled down to almost none, little bastards that they are.