Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | By: Lynn

Taking Care of Business

Some members of my local chapter of Romance Writers of America, Prairie Hearts , select words for the year. The words are a tool to help those who pick words to focus on something of meaning to their writing. The words are selected yearly, because our focus shifts and we discover a different obstacle or inspiration. For instance last year my word was ‘Yes,” because I wanted to remind myself to be open and willing to try new things with my life and my writing.

Throughout the year I would check in with myself to see if I was saying yes to things, new things in particular, but for me, simply saying yes was a new thing. I lean more naturally toward I can’t, but turns out I can do things, including change. So on to another issue for me. And my words for this year are ‘Do it.’

Do it gives me the extra push I need to overcome feelings and tendencies that would suggest I postpone writing, wait until I’m in the mood or have the right music or the right view or best computer program. I feel strongly that all these various types of concerns are valid. It’s hard to write when I’m feeling wordless. I have a job, so I have to give that work my best, too. Family is a top priority, so it is a regular pull away from writing. The situation requires juggling, and sometimes I’m simply tired. That these concerns are valid is one reason they are so hard to overcome or work around.

So, recently I added another phrase to my ‘Do it,’ that reminds me of something important to get in my head and heart. ‘It’s a business.’ Writing is a business. In business or for our jobs, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring our tasks. It’s expected, even required, that we show up and get the work done. I also think it’s very important to live a balanced life, but let’s get real. If we want to write books and publish them or get them published, we need to understand that it’s a business. Yes, we writers love writing. It’s a high when the words pour out. It’s a fun challenge when they don’t. So we like our jobs. But it’s still work, business, that requires dedication, diligence, resolve, and honesty with ourselves.

If I sleep in late and then don’t have enough time to spend with family, do my freelance work, clean the house, and write pages for my latest WIP, I’m not getting it. I’m not being honest. Writing is a business and if I want to achieve my goals, I have to make time for it and then do it. And if I don’t, I won’t finish a book.

If I seem a bit preachy, it’s because I’m frustrated with my own lack of awareness. I’m aggravated that I allow myself to believe I need to sleep in or have an afternoon off to read, when I so strongly want to finish my WIP and complain I don’t have time. I’m frustrated that self-doubt would prevent me from writing by distracting me with other less scary things. I have to do it anyway. It’s just business.

This is a very personal Aha! for me. I think reading is an excellent way to improve writing skills. Being tired means we should rest. But for myself, sometimes it’s just all excuses and it’s now time to get real.

Do you agree that writing is a business or is it a hobby? What do you do to keep on task with your writing? What pulls you away?


RT Wolfe said...

Great post. Thank you.
R.T. Wolfe