A friend in my Copperfield Critique Group advised me to treat writing like a job. Meaning, go to my favorite spot for eight hours a day and write, write, write. Sounds like an awesome plan. Is this what best-selling authors do?
My only hurdle, however, is life.
For one, I am a voice-over talent. Two, I am also a Realtor. Both careers are flexible, but clients need me at various times of the day, and I am more than happy to help them. But it doesn’t end there. I must also attend weekly marketing meetings and send mail-outs boasting my services. Not to mention, I am also at the tail-end of planning a humongous wedding, before heading to Florence, Italy for two fabulous weeks.
All this, and A-D-D too.
So what’s an unpublished author to do? How do we balance both life and our craft?
My thought is… the best we can. No guilt. No regret. Just push yourself through the muck of the day, every day, until your book is done.
DO BETTER. Those were the two words scrawled on the very first draft of my young adult novel, many years ago. I was new to the craft and had yet to experience the sometimes brutal, always remarkable insight of the critique world. Let’s just say I learned the hard way, military style, with zillions of Track Change bubbles and plenty of red ink screaming at me from every direction. One particular scribble challenged me to simply DO BETTER. Imagine my horror.
But my beloved editor friend was right, and when I read my manuscript again, I did so with an open mind and an eagerness to learn. Now, I am the one with the red ink writing DO BETTER on my own manuscripts.
In other news, I left the SCBWI-Austin conference feeling more hopeful than ever about my young adult manuscript. The agent who critiqued my first ten pages/synopsis LOVED it, and invited me to send the final draft when done.
My pleasure. 🙂
I credit my friend’s two wonderful words. Now, I am paying the challenge forward to you, my new writing friends. Never fear the red ink. Instead, force yourself to always DO BETTER.