The Danger Zone

Some people write no matter what is happening in their lives.  Every day they write.  Others of us, not so much.  There has to be some conscious effort put forth to make us write.  Which doesn’t mean we don’t write often–it just means that we’re more in danger of stopping writing and not starting again for quite some time.

I just hit one of my personal danger zones.

Yesterday I finished a draft of the new novel.  Now it needs to sit for a bit (not as long as I’d like) before I take the next pass through.

This is when it’s tempting to put down the writing pen (figurative, not literal) and turn my attention back to the rest of my life.  Like today.  I should write something.  A short story maybe?  Turn my attention back to the non-fiction book I wrote last month on grief so I can get that pubbed?  But the pup needs to go to the vet and then I’m meeting a writer friend for a celebratory drink and while I’m downtown might as well meet an ex-coworker for another drink and then it’ll be evening and I’ll be tipsy and there goes one day without writing.

It’s easy when you don’t have an active project driving you to let one day of not writing become two which becomes three which becomes four which becomes weeks and months.  Well, at least it is for me.

But I can’t do that.  Because I decided to devote the second half of this year to my writing and unless some of that writing results in some good income, come January I’m going to have to suck it up and go back to a real job.  Not that writing isn’t a job, just that I actually enjoy it.

I love sitting in my office dreaming up stories.  Sitting in a large conference room with twenty computer types?  Yeah, not so much.  So if I can bust my butt for the rest of the year and get something in motion, maybe I can avoid going back to that world…

To do so, though, I can’t let the danger zone take me down.  I have to keep going, keep writing.  Fortunately, I have a partial request from an agent I’d love to have be my agent to keep me focused this time around.

Next time?  Well, I guess I’ll just have to tell myself “suck it up cupcake” and push through.  As we all must if we want to win at this writing thing.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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2 Responses to The Danger Zone

  1. Dave Higgins says:

    There are writing methodologies that suggest celebrating events with time off from writing. So pushing yourself to write the day after you finish a draft isn’t right for everyone.

    However, it is better if the time off is structured. For example, you get two days for publishing, one day for finishing a second draft, &c. so celebrating the achievement and recharging doesn’t become slacking off.

    • M. H. Lee says:

      Good point, Dave. Fortunately, I have pressure to get this thing out the door so that’ll limit my time off this go round, but I like the idea to have a plan for when you’re going to go back to the writing. X days of rest and then back to it!

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