Writer, Chef, Fashion Designer

Sometimes writers get obsessed with their work. They do NOTHING but write. They don’t eat, sleep, talk to people, and only begrudgingly go to the bathroom. And that’s only because the alternative is pissing their pants. Which isn’t fun.

But sometimes I run across writers who feel like it’s either life or writing. Have friendships or be a hermit. Watch television or be an artist. Have a life or be published.

It’s not like that at all. It’s not either/or. Writing a book takes discipline and passion and yes, horrible amounts of time. For those of us with a full time job, writing more than a couple of hours a day can leave us feeling like we have TWO full time jobs. Those of us who have to do our own housework, that’s MORE time. It’s no wonder we get invited to an all night dinner-movie-drinks thing and want to bail. We feel like we don’t have time for that!!

But we do.

It’s priorities. Writing is important. So is spending some time out of your house with other people so you don’t go insane. You can do both. But you can’t write for four hours, work for 8 hours, play with the dog, watch five hours of television, have coffee with a friend, help the kid with the homework, cook a gourmet dinner, AND clean your house, all on the same day. You can’t. This will drive you insane.

If you want to write everyday, you have to take some time away from something else. Let’s not take time away from sleep because as an insomniac, I can guarantee it will come back and bite you in the ass. You know, rendering you LESS productive.

So maybe this means you don’t vacuum everyday. (What kind of person does this anyway?) Maybe it means you watch a little less television. Maybe it means you only read one book a week instead of three. The time has to come from somewhere, but you DO have time.

I used to feel like I had to write everyday because I heard some famous writers write everyday. Maybe they do. That’s also what they do for a living. Most of them are also married and have help with household related crap.

Does this mean I can’t write everyday without being super stressed out all the time? No. I can write everyday. I can get up earlier. Write before work. Come home and watch television. And go to bed at a reasonable hour. I can.

But I don’t have to. I like writing at night. If I’m going to opera that night, you know what, I can write another night. If I need to run errands and clean the house or celebrate a birthday, I give myself permission not to write that day either. It takes the pressure off. I can write if I want, but I’m certainly not going to have it looming over my head all day. That’s no way to be productive.

The other things in life are what keep you sane so you can write. They inspire you. They relax you. They connect you to other people. I’m a writer first, but I’m not just a writer. And there is nothing wrong with putting everything aside once and a while and watching Netflix all day. Just saying.

In other news, today is my birthday. ^_^

19 Responses to Writer, Chef, Fashion Designer

  1. Happy birthday.
    I’ll put this information to good use when I prove my mother wrong (she told me I’d never make a living as an Australian author) and publish a best selling series that makes me a billionaire.
    Priorities! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday! Here’s the deal: I’d rather be writing than pretty much anything else except sleep. But I can’t do it all the time. In fact, I spend a fair amount of writing time wrangling myself into writing rather than google-stalking or playing CandyCrush or whatever. If I know I have a limited amount of writing time, I actually write more. Bizarre. And as much as I’m one of those sort of anti-social writers, you do have to do other things to inspire you.

    • Thanks! 🙂
      I totally agree. I wish I could “choose” to sleep, you know. Lol! It’s so weird how when time is limited, we find that ability to pump out the words! I need to figure out how to harness that. 😛 But I’m right up there in anti-social writer land with you!

  3. First off… Happy Birthday!

    And I hear you on not giving up everything else you love or want to do to write. You have to keep the well of creativity going somehow after all, and the only real way I see to do that is to watch movies, watch tv, and all around experience life. Working writing into your scheduel is a must of course, but being a slave to it doesn’t help do anything except get it done faster.

    I feel like the slowest writer in the universe, but I’m not going to give up time with family or watching some of my favorite shows to write. There’s plenty of ways for me to get that writing time in without doing that.

    • Thanks! ^_^
      Totally! And I find that if I give up everything I write, I completely burn myself out and end up having to take a long break to recover. So whether I speed through things or take my time, I end up writing the same number of books a year!

  4. First time here. Happy birthday. I’ve spent many years away from writing thanks to being busy with a camera. I’ve only recently been getting back into it but it’s been a slowwwwwwwwwww process. Only a few words here and there. I’m having so much trouble establishing a groove that I look for other things to do! Definitely about priorities for me, too.

    • Thank you! Thanks for dropping by! ^_^

      I spent a long time away from writing right after college. It took me a year to finish the next first draft when I started up again. Some days I would only write for a few minutes – after I spent a couple of hours on the internet to “unwind” first. Lol!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope your day is fabulous and that purple balloons don’t try to make you crash 😉 Yes to balance! Balance in life makes one oh so productive! I totally feel like I have two full time jobs. What really helps me is keeping a routine and setting aside time for the non-routine fun things. I basically wake up, go to work, take a walk on my lunch break while reading or catching up on the phone with my sister, then back to work, after work I go to the gym for about 50 minutes, then I go home, shower, write for an hour, cook dinner, eat dinner with the boyfriend and catch up on our days, then I either write some more, watch a show, or I read then sleep by 10 p.m. Then Friday through Sunday, I have no routine whatsoever and try to get out as much as possible.

    • Thank you! No balloons today for me. 🙂
      OMG, seriously, I love your routine! I’ve been thinking that’s what I need to get back to, some more structure, you know. I had a period of time last year where I would write between 9 and 11. Of course what happens is that it’s a few months after a project before I’m drafting again, so it’s like I forget everything. When I start back up again, I’m either writing all evening or I’m not writing at all.

  6. Happy Birthday!

    Yes, we can do other things than write!

    I’m blessed by working in a fairly short genre. Most of my works are at the high-end of short story or very low end of novelette/novella in terms of word count. I tend to work obsessively for a few days or even a few weeks and then slack off till the next idea coalesces.

    Someday when my life calms down I might try my hand at a novel. It’s not a genre that calls to me. One of the great things about the eBook revolution is that there is much greater opportunity for a writer to write the piece as long as the piece demands instead of trying to fit into a publishing houses definition of how long a certain type of book should be.

    So, if I ever get an idea that would make a good novel, I can try to write a novel. For now, most of my stories fit pretty happily at about 4,000 to 10,000 words.

    • Thank you! 🙂
      I wish I could write a short story that made sense! Most of the feedback I’ve gotten on my short stories have been to the beat of, “this feels like it’s supposed to be a lot longer.” I have an idea for a series of novellas that I’m just sitting on. I’m not sure if they’re actually novellas or if I’m just wanting to make them that way. I’m hoping I can talk myself into that one day because it sounds like fun. But I’m not one of those writers who can do both, yet.

      When I get close to the end of something, it is the only thing when I’m at home until it’s done. I usually work this way for about two or three days. I love it!

  7. Happy Happy Birthday Miss Krystal! <3

    This year I've had to force myself to consider writing my "hobby," not my "life." Which seems horrible, like I'm a traitor to writing. But the problem is when I consider writing my life, I beat myself up too much when I'm not pulling off lofty word counts or making some kind of self-imposed deadline. I finally had to have a serious talk with myself at the beginning of this school year, where I basically told myself that TEACHING is my job. Writing is not. Writing is something I do because I have a passion for it. It's a choice, and it should be easy, and make me feel good, not feel like a grinding chore. So if I don't meet those word counts or deadlines, it's OKAY, because the only person requiring me to write is me. Ever since I started viewing things this way, I've been much more relaxed, and happier, and I'm actually enjoying a life outside of my writing hovel. But the verdict is still out as to whether this new outlook will help–or hinder–my ability to write my sequel, because we all know writing requires self-discipline, and I'm not doing that much lately.

    Okay, I'm rambling. Enjoy the rest of your birthday girly!

    • <3 Thank you so much, Jodi! 😀

      I've been juggling about whether or not to do that. The problem is that my hobbies come in phases. I may not play piano for six months at a time, and when I do, it's usually just fifteen minutes here and there. I don't want that to happen to my writing! Right now, I'm taking all of my deadlines off and calling writing my "dream." So far I've been less stressed, but I also think I'm being a lot less productive. Is there no way to do both?! I'm going to keep trying though, cause I'm stubborn like that. ^_^

      But, yes! It's been a great day!

  8. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! I’d sing, but I don’t want to scare you.
    As writers it’s our job to see, experience and try to make sense of the world and how can we do that if never get out there in it. I’ve heard too about the ‘write everyday’ philosophy. And it’s a great philosophy. And I try. I have a dedicated calendar for it even. But there are days when a cracked rib and a child with special medical needs and an hubby away on business mean the writing doesn’t get done. And then there are days like last Wednesday when I was just plumb tuckered out and couldn’t be bothered. And THAT’S OK!
    If taking a day off means I can attack my writing better tomorrow, then isn’t that a good idea?

    • Thank you, Sandie! Lol! ^_^
      I totally 100% think it’s a good idea to take off when we’re too tired. If we can’t concentrate, how can we write anything that will end up being any good at all? We’ll just have to redo it later. Might as well take care of ourselves. 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday!!! Hope you partied well 🙂
    I WISH I could write 100% every now and then, but it’s never going to happen. And as you said, that’s good. Writing comes from life and inspiration, which means we have to live. And writing breaks are necessary to restock on ideas and simply get those creative juices flowing in different ways. Plus, I’ve found that when I can’t write something (those days where one gets maybe 10 words out and stares at the screen), it’s better to get out of the house and do something totally different to free up the mind. The hard part then is to remember to put that backside back in the chair and write again. *slap that backside*!

    • Thank you! I had a great day. 🙂
      Ha,ha, slap indeed! Sitting back down is always so hard, right?! I’m getting better at leaving the keyboard and doing something else when nothing will come, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating! Or any more easy to accept.

Hi! ^_^