Monday, July 10, 2017

The Job of “Writer”: There is No Clocking Out



Remember those dreams of grandeur during your first happy days as a writer?
Those imaginings that your life would be full of lounging in a quaint coffee shop and clacking contentedly on your keyboard whenever you felt like it? The realization that you’d be paid to merely daydream and create? Talk about a life!


After all, the writer’s life is the easiest gig, right? Our job description is quite literally “make stuff up”. The majority of the time our work outfit is our pajamas, and our work space is the comfiest chair in the house. We make our own hours. Get to be at home. Drink all the coffee our heart desires. What a spoiled life we writers get to live! Such ease, such pleasure. Not a care in  the world. Right? Riiiiight?


……………..


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!!!!



I think in our early days we did live under this illusion. And I know for a fact many non-writers believe this. It’s often thought that being a writer isn’t a “real” job. It’s not like we do anything or work very hard.


Heh.


Being a writer is one of the most time-consuming, demanding jobs on the earth. Yes, there are definitely harder jobs out there. But here’s the thing about being a writer: You can’t just “clock out” when the work day is over. Most jobs involve clocking in and clocking out. And once you’ve punched that time clock and turned the lights out at the office, you’re free. No more obligations until the next day.


It doesn’t work like that as a writer.


The thing about writers is we always have something we could/should be doing. ALWAYS. Novel writing isn’t just, well, novel writing. Oh no. Honestly, for me, the whole actually writing a book is the easy part. (Okay, sometimes the easy part…sorta…ish. Let me live under my delusions!) There is so much more to the writer’s life.


To make my point, let me give you guys a list of the many, many things we writers must do. Because lists makes everything more fun.

 

. . . WRITE . . .


Yes, yes, I know I literally just said novel writing isn’t just novel writing. BUT. It’s kiiiinda the most important part of the job. One can’t exactly be a novel writer if  one doesn’t write novels. CRAZY, RIGHT?


But seriously, if your goal is to be published, you have to have something to actually publish. And I say novels, but you may be a poetry writer, or do non-fiction, or short stories. Whatever your field is, you have to WRITE IT. And let me tell you guys, writing is no quick feat. Unless it’s during NaNoWriMo, it takes me a few months to get a novel done. And within those few months I’m spending hours and hours of the day purely writing. Then, when the novel is finally done…another idea decides to attack me and I start allllll over again.


I have over a dozen written stories under my belt. So…let’s just not even think about the amount of hours I’ve spent of my 25 years writing. o.O But merely writing is only the beginning of the writer’s life.

 

. . . EDIT . . .


Okay, so we’ve written a novel. Great! It’s done now, right?


HA!


Being a writer is anything but just writing and being done. We then have to turn right back around and completely tear apart our precious manuscript we just spent the last 4 months poring over. *faints* We have to actually fix that plot hole the size of Texas and turn that flat character into something more interesting than a lima bean and change every. single. sentence. into something actually worth reading. And thennnn DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. Yaaaay!



Because editing isn’t just editing once. OH NO. You’ll go over that single book so many times—editing, proofreading, perfected—you’ll be able to recite it word by word.

 

. . . RESEARCH . . .


Ah, researching. My least favorite part of the writing life (and one I probably should work harder on *cough*). Yes, even us fantasy writers have to research. (Swordfights I’ve written: Approximately 239834. Swordfights I’ve actually done in real life: 0. Yeah, we gotta research!)


The sad thing about researching is that we may spend 3 hours researching something just for…one paragraph in our novel. Yepppp. Researching consumes a lot of time.

 

. . . BUILD A PLATFORM/KEEP UP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA . . .


Odd as it may seem, we writers have to spend a huge chunk of time not working on our novels.


In this day and age of technology, publishers put a lot of stock in a writer’s platform (a.k.a how many readers they’ve accumulated, usually via social media). Books need to sell, and the only way a book can sell is if it’s in the public eye and people actually know about it. Thus, it’s pretty essential these days for writers to be on social media and constantly bringing in new followers. But not just that, I firmly believe writers need other writers in their lives, not just readers. Building a following is important, but joining a writing community and having a circle of fellow writers is how we writers thrive.


Aside from the actually writing/editing a book, I’d say this takes up most of a writer’s life.


A spend an immense amount of time working on my blog, writing blog posts, taking pictures for said posts, replying to comments, reading other blog posts and commenting on those, etc., etc. And that’s just with blogging! Then there’s twitter, Instragram, Facebook, Google+, on and on and on.



For me, I’m most active on blogger (though even then I often think I need to be more active). I sometimes do twitter (I’ve been trying to be more active, though totally failing…). I have my Instagram account but I…hardly ever use it. I want to though. I hope to one day be much more involved in the bookstagram community, I just haven’t settled into it yet. One day hopefully! My Google+ account…never gets use. Blogger is nice and automatically posts each of my blog posts on there but that’s all the activity it gets. Annnd I don’t even have a Facebook account. Yeeeah. Probably something I need one day if I ever get published. An author without an FB is unheard of. Or…a human without an FB. Heh.


But ANYWAYS. The point is, being active on social media and building a readership and making other writer friends takes SO. MUCH. TIME. Most of my days are filled with keeping up with blogs and emailing and beta-reading friends’ books, and so on and so forth. And yet, there is sooooo many other things I should be doing on top of all that.


To get published, it’s good to basically build your own resume. Such as having a large following on social media. But also having experience. I’d love to write for some magazines sometime because that’s a great thing to put on one’s “resume” a.k.a. your query letter. Or join a writers association like ACFW. Or enter writing contests. The list goes on and on and on.


The amount you can do to make writing friends and build a platform and have experience to make good query letters is literally infinite. And it’s all important for the writing life.

 

. . . LEARN THE CRAFT . . .


Writers never, ever stop learning. With some jobs, you may have a two week learning phase and then you’ve got it down. With writing, you keep learning until you’re in the grave. (And at that point you’re doing some great research on how all the characters you killed off feel, so even more learning!)


There is no “getting there” with writing. No highest peak to reach. Because you can always improve. There are always more things to learn, more things to discover, other methods to try, new genres to explore.


We writers spend monstrous amounts of time studying the craft—reading writing articles, following writing blogs, listening to writing podcasts, studying writing books, taking writing classes.


With writing, you’re always going to be learning something new with each novel you write. Learning the craft never ends. Our life is basically an endless writing class.

 

. . . TAME THE PLOT BUNNIES . . .


Let’s be real. We writers spend 101% of our time trying to control the plague of plot bunnies. We’re writing one book, under the delusion we’re happy spending our time with it, when BAM! another story idea— a plot bunny—leaps up, all shiny and exciting, and we want to write that novel instead. But wait, there’s another plot bunny over there. And there! AND THERE. And ooooh, that one is fun. But that one is shiny. But that one has PIRATES.


Okay. The plot bunnies can’t be tamed. All our efforts are futile. Forget all the other stuff I listed. Most of the writing life is caving to the cute, fluffy plague of plot bunnies and next thing we know we’re working on 23 projects at once and wondering what we’re doing with our lives.



. . . . . . . . . . .


As you can see, the writing life takes a LOT of time and a LOT of work. So many hours spent staring at a computer screen to the point that your eyes begin to melt out of their sockets and your fingers wither away from all the typing. And my list doesn’t even cover half of it! I didn’t even get into the time spent plotting and marketing and searching for agents and crying and writing synopses. It’s infinite!


I will repeat: We writers don’t clock out. While most people with normal day jobs are sleeping at 4a.m., we’re putting the finishing touches to that blog post we started at midnight because, whoops, it’s supposed to be published in the morning. While home is the place to relax and watch a movie for the average human, it’s our office. If we’re home, we probably should be working. (At least…that’s my mentality. *cough*) Outside of the home is when I leave the “office” and relax. When we’re not writing, we feel guilty because we should be writing. When we are writing, we wonder if we should be doing the one billion other things on our to-do list. Like answering one of those 2399834 emails in our inbox.


But I’m not here to overwhelm you guys! (Because I know this monstrous post about how much work we writers have to do has done suuuuch a good job of that. Ehehehehe. *COUGH*) I just want to debunk the mentality that being a writer is all ease and comfort and isn’t a “real job”. Or if you’re looking for a quick way to fame and fortune, prove that writing is not it. Short of being J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, there’s no fame with the job, and the term “starving artist” encompasses writers as well. Heh. Plus, there’s nothing quick about getting published.


So that brings the real question here. Why do we do it? Why do I spend so much of my life pursuing publishing? Why do I put all this pressure and stress on myself? Why DO we choose to write???


The answer is simple:


Because we love it.


I’ve always believed you can’t choose the writing life, it chooses you. If you have a passion to create stories, then you have to, no matter what.


I’ve been on a pretty long writing hiatus because my life has been crazy lately, but I’m chomping at the bit to get to writing again. I can’t not write. I have stories going through my head 100% of the time. Without writing, I’d feel like an empty shell.


Yes, I get overwhelmed and stressed all. the. time. And on the really hard days, I wonder if it’s worth it. But then a story idea grasps a hold of me and won’t let go, and I get lost in a new world and characters and the dance of words, and I know, without a doubt, no matter the amount of stress and work and late nights, it is always, always worth it. I love creating new stories and I love blogging and I love connecting with readers and fellow writers. I absolutely love everything about this crazy life of a writer.


That’s why we do it. If God puts a passion in your heart for writing, then you write. It’s as simple as that.


BUT—and this is important here—even though writing involves endless work and has no time clock to punch out, you should create your own time clock. Yes, we can write and be on social media and work 24/7, but we shouldn’t! It’s very, very important we learn to take time out. To LIVE. The job of a writer is unlike any other, because essentially we’re our own boss. Which means we have to provide ourselves with specific work hours and vacations when we need it. This post is by no means implying that you should spend every waking second working! DON’T. That’s unhealthy! (I would know. *cough*) Figure out your two favorite social media platforms and stick with them and don’t worry about the rest. Set out two hours of the day to write and clock out afterwards. Take up your friend’s offer to have lunch, because your book will still be there when you get back.


Live, write, find your own pace.


(And don’t do like me where you go a while only working and then a while not doing ANYTHING, because I’m totally the worst at that whole balance thing. Ahem.)


Being a writer is not the easiest life. But you know what? Sometimes it totally is lounging at home in your pajamas drinking all the coffee your heart desires. I mean, one of the biggest ways to learn the craft is by reading novels and watching movies! And published authors do quite literally get paid to make stuff up.


The life of a writer is hard and insane and weird and overwhelming and stressful and absurd. And if you love it, it’s absolutely amazing.

 

Tell me, dear writers, what struggles do you face as a writer? Does it sometimes overwhelm you all the hats we writers must wear? And I REALLY want to know, how do you balance it all??? What habits have you developed that have helped? Because I NEED TIPS AND TRICKS. So share away!

46 comments:

  1. This post is so true. My writing is just a passion for right now, but it is slowly taking over my life. I love the GIFs!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Writing DEFINITELY has a way of doing that. Before I was 18, it was more a hobby and something I enjoyed doing. But then it just...completely took over and is now my entire life. But I love it! XD

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  2. This is so beautifully true. That gif with the bunnies, though! I love it!

    It really does take up a ton of time, and that's something I don't think my parents understand a lot of the time. :P They say I'm writing "too much", and while I understand that I need to get a life (although I'm pretty social for an introverted, homeschooled writer) I also, alas, know that I need to spend MORE time writing than I actually do :P

    There you go. My ramble on this. XD I want to do nothing but write, although my activism work is starting to take over more. You know how it goes.

    Thanks for this post! And the gifs, obviously.

    thefloridsword.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww, thanks! And I love that gif so much. When I found it I was like "PERFECT!" XD

      YES. I think a lot of people don't understand why we must spend so much time in front of the computer. Which is a big reason why I wrote this blog post, to maybe help everyone see that it really is necessary. Of course, we obviously need to be healthy about it and take breaks. But it's still time-consuming. *nods*

      I understand, yes! That balance is so very hard to find. I'm mourning the little bit I've written this year. But sometimes other things take priority and we just gotta roll with it.

      You're so welcome! Glad you enjoyed it! ^_^

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  3. Yes, you summed it up so perfectly. Being a writer is not easy, and it never ends. It can also be so discouraging. Because it can be a thankless job.

    Great post!

    I don't have Facebook either Christine, you are not alone!

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    1. It can be so very, very discouraging! That's why I think it's so important we have fellow writing friends who understand and can support us and encourage us along the way. Non-writers can be a great support system, but they don't have that level of understanding writers would have.

      Thanks so much, Skye! ^_^

      I'm glad I'm not the only one! Because sometimes I feel like I am. Haha.

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  4. "But that one has PIRATES." <--- I lost it. XDDDD *laughs so hard*

    That plot bunny gif is LITERALLY ME! :O :O :O

    "I’ve always believed you can’t choose the writing life, it chooses you." Sadly the case. *smiles softly and lies down and allows the herd of bunnies to climb all over me*

    "The life of a writer is hard and insane and weird and overwhelming and stressful and absurd. And if you love it, it’s absolutely amazing." I love this. :) :) :)

    I have no idea how to balance it either, but THIS POST THOUGH!!! It's so beautiful and amusing and just wow you are a fabulous writer which shows through when you write these wonderful posts I love! ^_^ *hugs it* Thanks for sharing and just YES, this post is awesome and so so so true! XDDD <3

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    1. Bwahaha! I think we ALL have at least one pirate idea floating around. Because, ya know, PIRATES. XDDD

      I can't with that gif. It's such the life of the writer, it just kills me.

      Hahahaha! But we LIKE when we're chosen as a writer, right? Even if it comes with a hoard of bunnies and stress... Ahem. But it's still good!

      D'AWWWWWW, CELTI. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked my post! <333

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    2. I've half-written my pirate plot bunny. XD So... yes. :P

      I read that as "hoarding bunnies and stress". XDDDDD

      YOU'RE AN INSPIRATION, M'DEAR! ^_^

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    3. Exactly! XD

      LOLZY. I think we do that, too. Tehe.

      GAH, CELTI. YOU ARE SO SWEET! <333

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  5. The plot bunnies gif! That is my 8 year old daughter's description of heaven, by the way. LOL Bunnies are her favorite!

    I don't have any idea how to find balance. Between authoring, being a full-time-homeschooling mom of four, and volunteering for things at our church... and trying to maintain friendships with people, because: friends = good.... I'll just say... it's never easy. I tend to find that I am CONSTANTLY feeling like I'm not getting something done, or not doing something I should be doing. And that's uncomfortable. But sometimes uncomfortable can be good, because it motivates us to try new things, to strive for a better solution, to step outside our comfort zones... because if we aren't comfortable even IN our comfort zones... then what's the worst that could happen if we step outside of them?

    And in the end... it takes hard work, dedication, and commitment to make it a success. But as my dad is fond of saying, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it." and "Do not set small goals, for small goals do not stir the blood of a man's soul." and "There's no such thing as an overnight success." Also, "anything worth doing is worth doing well." So... I repeat these encouraging mantras to myself... pray a LOT... and keep pressing on.

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    1. Awwww, that is so sweet! Bunnies are pretty great. ^_^ (Though plot bunnies on the other hand can be pests. ;P)

      GIRL. You INSPIRE me all. the. time. I am just in awwwwwe at how you manage to produce books while raising AND homeschooling children and keep up with everything else. YOU ARE A SUPERHUMAN.
      You are SO right that being a little uncomfortable can be a good thing. :O That is a wonderful thought and one I'm not sure I've really consciously pondered. Being uncomfortable pushes us to heights we didn't know we could reach and keeps us on our toes. YES. Wonderful advice!

      And, oh my. I wish I knew your dad, because he sounds like a well of good advice and wisdom. Oh my goodness, I love ALL of this. Every single quote needs to be hung on the wall or something. Thank you for sharing! You've really encouraged me.

      And prayer! Most definitely lots of prayer. I'm discovering it's absolutely vital to keeping me from drowning.

      You're such a blessing, Jenelle! <3

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    2. :) awww, thanks! I'm the opposite of a superhuman.

      My dad is pretty spectacular. :) And a source of fantastic quotes.

      Yay! I'm glad I could be encouraging! Your post was encouraging to me, because it reminded me that we authors are not alone. Like you said, writing friends are important. It can seem like everyone else has it all figured out... but really, most of us are just doing the best we can and learning together. It's wonderful to have writing friends to talk to, brainstorm with, and just generally pool together all. the. things.

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    3. You said it! Writing is a very lonely job, and I think it's so, SO important we have other writing friends. A have a wonderful support system from my family and friends, but they don't have the level of understanding another fellow writer has. And you're so right in that we're all just figuring it out together and leaning on one another. Writing friends is a beautiful thing. ^_^

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    4. You inspire me too, Jenelle!! :) And I love those dad quotes as well. :)

      *group hug for you two lovely writer friends*

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    5. D'awww! *hugs backs* You guys are the BEST! ^_^

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  6. I don't have Facebook either :). And I probably never will. That and Twitter, two forms of social media I can't stand. WORD limits? No thanks!

    It's the second week of Camp NaNo and I can tell. I switched stories already, so I'm not bored exactly. . . maybe just a bit frazzled with all the social things I've been having to go to instead of writing. And my MC is starting a secretarial job which apparently involves being trained in and I don't know how that works because I've never had that kind of a job.

    Easy? I don't think so. Right now I'm not writing because it's fun, but because I have a story that *needs* telling, and I'm kind of the only one who can.

    https://ofdreamsandswords.wordpress.com

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    1. I'm glad I'm not alone! Because these days it's pretty unheard of. I've literally gotten strange looks from people when I say I don't have an FB account. It's pretty crazy! XD And I'm learning to enjoy twitter quite a lot, but the limited words does drive me to distraction. BUT, it is helping me learn how to shorten my sentences and what I want to say, which is something I reeeeally need to improve on when editing my monstrously sized novels. So some good comes out of the word limit! XD

      Oh dear, yes. The second week of NaNo events tends to always be the hardest. The high and excitement of the first week is over, and you're realizing you still have nearly the whole month to go on the crazy writing endeavor. I feel ya! It's especially hard when life gets in the way during NaNo events. *nods*

      But keep holding on and trekking forward! And remember the first draft doesn't have to be perfect. All that researching and things can be done later. Just enjoy discovering the story and see what happens. ^_^

      Yessss! I know precisely what you're saying. I love writing buuuut sometimes it's not fun. But when you're given a certain story you know you MUST write it, no matter the grueling work it involves. In the end, it's absolutely worth it.

      You've got this, Sophia. I know your story will come out wonderfully. Just keep writing!

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    2. :O Hiiii cabinmate! *waves at Sophia* You can do this week-2 thing! :D *trying to peptalk self in process because I'm behind too* XD

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    3. You two are cabinmates??? THAT IS SO COOL.

      You've both got this thing, I know you do. Just take it a day at a time. You're going to rock this Camp! *waves pompoms and cheers*

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    4. And I'm her *real* cabinmate!! Only we live in a farmhouse, not a cabin, but ya get the idea ��.

      By the way, Sophia tells me we are a lot alike when it comes to all caps and smiley faces and exclamation points.... �� !!!!!

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    5. Gahhhhhh. Those weird black question marks look like smiley faces on my end.... not sure why they translated that way!

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    6. OHMYGOODNESS. HIIIII!!!! You're Sophia's sister, right? The one who takes all the beautiful pictures? She mentions you a lot on her blog. It's nice to "meet" you! :D

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    7. HI! *jumps up and down and tosses glitter everywhere*
      Yup, we're sisters, and if you ever saw us you'd know ;) ! And yes, I take all the pictures, though not all of them are beautiful. :) I have my own blog at

      http://aglitteringjumbleoforder.blogspot.com/

      I keep telling her she needs to link to me more so I get more readers! :) Sisters are handy that way!

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    8. Deborah: It's weird how everyone individually seems to be behind, but the collective cabin stats are three days ahead. Hopefully this week things will pick up. Next week my sister *ahem* is gone at music camp, which means I'm doing all her chores for her, which means, of course, less writing time.

      Christine: I'm rewriting a story now, and putting in some completely new scenes, so though I've been over this ground before, it's still mostly new, and it feels a lot more like a first draft than the third draft it really is. Not to mention that it involves time-travel, and I'm a lot blurrier on the details of the modern day, not the other way around, which is weird, so things keep going from weird to weirder. I had a breakthrough on it during the sermon today, which sounds awful, but the sermon (on Psalm 90) actually had a lot to do with the theme.

      Bear: if you *will* introduce yourself so explosively, expect nothing less than your nickname plastered on the interwebs.

      For those interested, she has an alter ego, Villiam the Villain, who, er, /advises me/. Sometimes. I don't always take either of their suggestions. Yes. This is my sister. Glitter, photographs, and villainy.

      https://ofdreamsandswords.wordpress.com

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    9. @Olivia - We do sound totally alike! I love it! ;D (I mean, you can NEVER go wrong with glitter.)
      Ooooh! I didn't know you had a blog. FUNNNN!

      @Sophia - It's really weird how rewrites can feel like first drafts, even if you're working on a story you've had for ages. But it's kind of fun to completely remake something new! (If not occasionally headache-inducing...) But TIME TRAVEL!!! :D You can never go wrong with time travel!
      I've actually had a TON of breakthroughs for my novels at church or during my Bible time and such. I don't think that's bad. We just tend to become more creative when we're really focusing on God. We're pulling creative energy from HIM, because He created us to be creative! And what better creative wellspring is there than God? ^_^ But anyways, I'm glad you had a breakthrough. That's always so exciting!

      Glitter, photographs, and villainy. Bwahahahaha! I LOVE IT! Three of the best things. >:D

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  7. So true!!! Even when you're not WRITING the story, you are THINKING about The Story. All the time. The characters, the setting, the plot, how to masks it all better... It's insane! :D But, like you said, we love it! :) Also that guf of the bunnies. Cutest thing.

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    1. YESSSSS. You are reading my thoughts! Because I literally hope to write a post about that very thing. How once you're a writer, it takes over your entiiiiire life. The way you read, the way you look at the world, your thought process. EVERYTHING. But yes, for some insane reason, we love it. XD

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  8. This post was very inspiring. Particularly the second half. I constantly need to remember that I'm doing this for /fun/ and I need to chill out a little bit more sometimes. AND something that I have a big problem with is getting distracted by social media because I multitask while writing so I don't miss any opportunities or anything and that just makes my writing take longer. *deep breath* And I'm telling you this because in light of this post and the nudges I'm getting from God, I'm going to try ignore the internet while I write, get my daily stuff down and done and then move on with more life stuff.

    I keep thinking that I should get facebook...but I know how addicting it can be and I'm scared. XD I will probably get it soon though. Because it /is/ such an important part to have that social media platform. (and my Google+ is also very dead. XD All I do is share my blog posts and that's all. XP) And other than that I'm just on two writing forums and no other social media stuff. But hopefully that means I can get more writing done. :P

    Something that's really helped me with my writing is having a dry erase calendar and scheduling out my word/chapter count on each day. Because I do a lot of critiquing stuff as well, I put that on too and it's really handy to have. 10/10 recommended. *nods*

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    1. I'm really glad to hear it! ^_^ I was kind worried because I was even overwhelming myself with the first part of the post. *sheepish grin* I just think a lot of people don't realize all the things we writers must juggle.

      But ANYWAYS, yes! I think we often forget that we chose writing because we ENJOY it. It can so easily turn into a chore. And oh man, social media is soooo distracting. It's vital for us to gain readers, but it can also harm our writing because we use it to procrastinate actually working on our novels. XD I very, verrry often get distracted by social media whilst writing. I try to ignore it but...I don't do a good job. One trick I've learned is to set a specific wordcount for myself (like 1k words) and not, under any circumstances, touch the internet or ANYTHING until those words are written. I don't always succeed but I try. XD

      I feel the same! I get distracted enough with the internet, do I need yet ANOTHER thing to occupy my time? But yeeeah, it may be essential one day. We'll see! And I'm the same with Google+! In fact, I don't even share my posts on it, Blogger does it automatically for me. XD
      I think you're doing fine! And yes, you can get more writing done that way. Because I hear all the time that you should really only have two social media outlets to focus on and forget the rest. That way you DO have time to actually work on your book. So it sounds to me like you're doing it all perfectly. ^_^

      Ooooh. That is BRILLIANT. :O I'm loving this idea! And I thriiiive off goals, especially if they're written down to hold me accountable. So...YES. I may very well try this! Thank you for the suggestion!!!

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  9. SOOOO TRUUUUE. Writing is HARD!!! 😠 And research... Don't even get me started on research. I have about half a million things I need to research for my nano project but... Hahaha not happening. I'm making myself wait until the second draft because it's SO TIME CONSUMING and I'm writing a lot (for me) every day already.

    And ohmygoodness. I have only been blogging for about six months but IT TAKES SO MUCH TIME. Write post. Revise post. Spellcheck post. Take picture for post. Edit picture. Make sure picture looks fine with post. Check post again. Cross fingers and publish post.

    Writing is not easy for sure. Great post! ❤

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    1. SO VERY HARD. And oh my goodness gracious, research, yes. Ugh. It takes sooo long and is sooo tedious and blech. Most definitely my least favorite part of the writing life. But you are very wise to wait and research later and just get those words in. Researching can wait. It's important you have the book fully written first. *nods*

      It so does! Sometimes I spend almost an entire day on one single blog post alone. Thus I only post once a week. I am in utter awe at the bloggers who post multiple times a week or EVERY DAY. Like...magical unicorn bloggers right there. o.o But still, I love blogging and having a space to let loose all the thoughts rolling around in my head. It's time-consuming, but still lots of fun. ^_^

      I'm happy you enjoyed the post! Thank you so much!!!

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  10. I remember those days when writing was just a hobby... *stares wistfully into past*

    But I still love it even if it's more than that now! :) I think one of the biggest changes for me was finally making the decision that I wanted to be a published writer, and then adjusting to the amount of discipline that required (especially about blocking out time to write and balance that with everything else). I try to give myself deadlines and work toward those, even if I fall behind where I'd expected to be. It's still a really unbalanced process, but I'm working on it. :)

    Plot holes the size of Texas <-- AMEN TO THAT. Editing is that weird thing that sometimes I like, because "Hey I'm fixing things and it's improving!" but also that's the phase where some of my biggest doubts come in. I like researching, but sometimes you find that one fact that kind of tosses half your plot idea out the window...

    PLATFORM. *hisses* I still struggle with this one. I agree it's best to have a few that you really enjoy focusing on, rather than being on every platform and feeling exhausted all the time. I love blogging, and I'm working on really getting back into it and the community. :) I like Instagram and Twitter as well (though the latter can be a stressful place from time to time). I especially like doing hashtag games or photo challenges—they're a really fun way to network with other writers and readers.

    If you figure out the secret to taming plot bunnies, please share it! They are my weakness. :D

    "If God puts a passion in your heart for writing, then you write." <--YES. That is so true!

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    1. Meee too! It was pretty nice to have no obligations and just write for the fun of it. But, really, I think I like these days better. Where I respect my writing and pursue my dream, instead of just doing it occasionally for fun. It's my passion now, not just a hobby, and that makes it special. ^_^

      I did the same!!! I've been writing since I was 9, but I didn't take it seriously until I was 18. Then, trying to find that balance and discipline took over my life... Heh. I'm still working on it, too! All. The. Time. XD

      Yes! I'm discovering I actually sorta...ENJOY editing. o.O So weird! I thought I'd always hate it, but, like you said, it's fun to see the story get fixed and improved. But then there are DEFINITELY those moments where you realize you're going to have to change like...EVERYTHING and it gets so overwhelming. And I know what you mean about discovering something whilst researching that breaks everything. UGH. That's the worst.

      I have a love/hate relationship with platforms. I LOVE connecting with people, but it also can be soooo overwhelming and time-consuming. I think I often spend far too much time on social media and ignoring my writing which is a problem... :-/

      LOL. I don't think the plot bunny plague can be cured. The curse of us writers. XD

      Thanks for your precious comment, Jameson. Made my day! <333

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  11. Great blog!

    I would sincerely appreciate it if you checked out my book reviews blog at https://elsbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ and possibly give it a follow as well! Excited to read more of your posts!

    - El

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    1. Awwww, thank you so much! And I'll certainly check out your blog! ^_^

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  12. Oh my gosh, I LOVE THIS POST TO DEATH. *hugs it forever*

    I've struggled with the mentality that writing isn't a "real" job so many times. And when people ask what I want to go to college for...it's even harder, because I don't necessarily WANT to go to college. I want to stay at home and write books for a living. XD

    It definitely isn't easy, but I love it anyway. I totally agree, the writer's life isn't a choice, it's a calling. And it's a good thing too, otherwise I might have just grown with dozens of little people in my head, talking to me until I go crazy. XD

    Also, this ~> "With writing, you keep learning until you’re in the grave. (And at that point you’re doing some great research on how all the characters you killed off feel, so even more learning!)" I'M LAUGHING SO HARD RIGHT NOW. XD

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    1. *squeaks excitedly* MADELIIIIINE. YOU ARE SO SWEET.

      Yes to ALL the things you said! It can be such a hard struggle. And even though we know deep down writing is important and IS a real job, those doubting voices can really get to us. Especially when the world is doubting us! And yes, staying at home and writing books is amazing. That's what I do and I love it, despite all the disapproving looks I get from people. Heh.

      Hahahaha! I always feel like a crazy person because I constantly have people chatting and arguing in my head. We writers are just naturally insane, comes with the title. ;D

      *griiiins* I couldn't help myself! XD

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  13. This was so inspiring!! I personally love the first draft stage and the making a platform part of being a writer. But editing three million times for twenty years gets old lol.
    Amanda
    www.skgfun.com

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    1. Awww! I'm so glad! (Because I feared I was really just stressing everyone out with this post. XD) I feel ya! That endless editing can be brutal. Z_Z

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  14. I just stumbled upon your blog, and I love it so much! This is such an awesome and relatable post.

    I'm a fellow writer who's new to blogging, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I'd love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. WELL YOU ARE JUST THE NICEST THIIIING. Thank you so very much!!! ^_^

      Welcome to the blogging world! :D That's so exciting you've started a blog. Your blog looks GORGEOUS!!! I am kind of just drooling over here over your design. So clean and fresh and aesthetically pleasing. I love it!

      The best advice I can give is to just have fun and be yourself. I know that sounds like a Disney slogan or something, but it's true. XD Once I decided to let my full personality loose on my blog and stop trying to put on some internet facade is when everything clicked. Don't ever be afraid to let your personality shine. People gravitate toward real and honest people.

      And I've also learned with blogging that there are no rules. You blog the way YOU want to. It doesn't have to be any set pattern.

      So just have fun! For me, my blog has been one of my biggest blessings because I've met such wonderful people and have a space I can let loose all my crazy thoughts. Blogging is amazing! ^_^

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  15. Love this post! Write is so a real job and I hate it when people say it isn't.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad you did! ^_^

      It really is! It's so the worst when people don't take it seriously. That's why we writers gotta stick together!

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  16. It's definitely difficult to get all the different facets covered. The writing part is typically the toughest part for me and the part I get the least done at. I'd much rather be doing the editing than the original writing, much of the time. I'm working on my momentum, and it's building up some. I'm finally gaining some traction on a novel (most of my work is short fiction), though my output per day is still low. I'm looking more toward working with literature than writing as a career (we shall see if that works out or not), but I would like to make a lot more progress as a writer. For me right now, I'm just trying to reconcile it, to make sure that what time I'm putting into it is well-used. That works itself over to the time spent on all these other things more than just the writing itsef, of course. I also play three instruments, and I'm trying to not neglect those too much. It gets to be difficult, but I'm just trying to press to get as much done as I can without getting too distracted.

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    1. It so is, yes! We writers have to master the art of juggling. ;)

      It's funny, I used to think I HATED editing, but these days I'm starting to like it more than first drafts. Which is weird, because first drafts have always been my favorite! But both can definitely be difficult and cause their own kinds of headaches.

      It sounds like you're doing great! Every single minute you spend with it helps. Even ten minutes of writing a day can make progress! And I admire how you also take time out for your other hobbies. That's so awesome you play three instruments! I play the piano, but once I got real serious about writing my piano playing has...decreased, almost to zero. Heh. Writing seems to have taken over my life. Buuut I'm mostly okay with that. ;) Still, balancing each part of life is super important! (And something I'll probably be trying (and failing) to master for the rest of my life.)

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