I hate writing blog posts nowdays. I really do.
I especially hate writing them TO writers. Like I have a clue what I’m doing….
But this recent advice stuck with me. It nags to be shared.
I’m a week away from pushing a little watermelon with hands and feet into the world, walking in the rain to take my kindergartner to school, finding magical burritos (see facebook post) at the gas station, and basically sitting in my dirty house, wondering if anyone notices that I have not cleaned anything that’s fallen on the floor for a month because I can’t bend over. (picture waist above spotless….)
Why am I telling you this?
Because I still feel motivated to do my edits on La la Land, re-read it for proofing, and write not only a freaking blog post, but also my other super-secret novel. I’m chipping away over here despite my lack of motivation and I wanted you to know why.
Let me guess where you are at in your writing.
Right now you’re gearing up for the next, or finishing it. Maybe middling the helk out of it. You’re writing blurbs, or querying agents, or editing. And of course, you might be at a standstill.
Am I a mind reader? No. I just know there are only so many places you can be. And most of those spots require a modicum of self-motivation.
You see, we don’t have a boss breathing down our necks, checking our work, screaming incoherently at meetings, or even calling us to ask why we’re late. We ARE our own boss.
I chuckle when people try and imagine that. They usually think of the wonderful wonder of being ones own master. When I started working at home for my company, I TOO skipped-to-my-loo to my desk for about a month in an obnoxious bliss. I was so incredibly motivated, making myself coffee, letting the dog out, watching Oprah on my lunch break, but then it hit, the slump. Without people around me to keep me on my toes, I sorta gazed off into space…indefinitely. I wasn’t self-motivating anymore, I was doing the opposite. I didn’t want to get out of bed and get ready because who would see me?
I let the dog out, but stood at the window watching her frolic with my 10th cup of coffee before doddling around my empty house like a total rock kicking loser. My employer, of course, noticed right away. They said exactly what they knew they would say, “Working at home isn’t for everyone.”
You see, this company had seen its share of fair-weather workers. And we’ve all seen our share of fair-weather writers. When things are good, they can work from home as easy as pie, but when they slump, there isn’t much help from the little island they’ve sequestered themselves too. With nothing but their thoughts and a deck of cards, tv, refrigerator, that dripping sound, the dog barking at the door, the mailman, the friend coming over, the dinner that need’s making instead of answering that email, the kid who’s sick at home…
THIS is exactly what happens to writers.
They think, “Oh yeah, Marty. I can work from home with my eyes closed.”
Then some of them do close their eyes, just a little nap right? Pretty soon we’re facebooking and blogging our way out of every single thing we should be writing.
But this post I saw online yesterday reminded me of what this ole world is about. It gave me perspective.
Sure, the struggle is real, but hustle is the realest.
The grind is what you have to focus on. There is NOTHING but the grind. Meditate on that a moment. The rest is just fluff. Extra. NOT A FACTOR.
Write a few words. Go ahead, I’ll wait. That’s the real grind. You know how I know?
Because it’s in the name: Writer.
I don’t care HOW famous you are, fans are always going to ask, “When will they WRITE another?”
Your agent and publisher love you kissing babies like it’s election time, sure, but they count the days until you do it all over again.
And if you’re like me, you’ve only got one book or less out there, and so you’ve gotta and I mean GOTTA finish another. There’s no guarantee in publishing, but I tell you what, there’s loads more possibilities for people who have more books. It’s science.
Say it with me now: Stay on that grind.
STAY ON THAT GRIND!