Who am I?

I am a writing and publishing guru. What I dont know about the market just isn't worth knowing. So what if I'm unpublished? I choose to give other writers the gift of my wisdom and experience* that the other 500,000 writing blogs out there fail to give.
* No actual experience

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the f-word

This is a topic that every writer has to tackle during the course of serious wordsmithing... fatigue!

Those of us who earn a living not-writing know it well. Writing fiction is as demanding as a second job. Sure we've all heard tales about bestselling authors who held a high-flying full-time job when they were unpublished, and yet managed to churn out airport sized manuscripts at night or early in the morning when the world was sleeping. I'm thinking of the likes of Peter Carey and John Grisham here.

I happen to spend some hours on the computer during the day to fulfil my obligations to the people who pay me. In the evening, I need to step into mothering mode. This job tends to not involve a computer screen, but it's still pretty busy - making sure that a nutritious meal finds it way into the kids, and that they get cleaned, and have done their required reading, music practice and other bits of homework. Sometimes I step into Tiger-Mom mode and attempt to give them additional tasks to do in order to challenge them further to achieve their full potential or some such nonsense.

Then, once the blood has been mopped from the floor, and the darlings are curled up in their beds, I try to squeeze some creativity from my brain. That's the point at which the f-word hits. Sure, I swear and curse, but that does nothing to remove the fog (another f-word) and urge to call it a night. I reduce the brightness on my screen, and that stops me from squinting. I also zoom in to make the words larger. And try to write. I aim for 500 words on a working day and 1000 for a non-working day. Targets are such optimistic things, yeah?

Ok, so I'm having a whine here. I'm not the only person who has to live in the real world and chooses to write. Unless you're living off inherited wealth, or have a machne in the basement that either cranks out more time or more money, and you're not forced to keep busy for 7 and 1/2 hours per day, then chances are you can relate exactly to what I'm talkin' about.

I'm wondering what people do when the urge to shut their eyes takes becomes overwhelming. Do you give in to it, or just push through? Does it involve caffeine or stealing your kids' ADHD medication? Physical exercise? Yoga/ meditation? Watching really bad tv and consequently feeling superior and inspired? (or does cr*p tv just make you want to scream another f-word?)

So far, one thing that has helped is to change the technology I use. I've come across a wonderful innovation that is low glare, portable and very energy efficient. I'm talking about pen and paper! Sadly, the spell check and word count is completely lousy. It also means that I need to transcribe it back into a word document when I can finally face a screen again without wanting to cry.

The good news is that the act of writing is different to typing, and just being away from a lap-top seems to nudge my brain into producing something.

Please, share your strategies for battling the f-word...