Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Writer's Work is Never Done

I’ve talked about my To Do list before. Yeah, yeah, it’s pages long, in part because I have things on it that won’t come due until 2016, when I have a reminder that that’s about as long as we can expect the ‘new’ dishwasher to last. No, it’s not 9-11 pages of things for me to do today. I try to keep the chores for any one day down to a page.
I was looking at some of the chores that had somehow all cropped up on today’s date. Not the housework, not the personal chores, but the ones related (however slightly) to writing. Things like writing this blog, checking out several websites in search of tidbits to improve my writing, reading other people’s blogs about writing and leaving comments, looking for writing seminars, checking out some softwares that others have suggested I try, researching markets, sending out short stories, researching agents and composing queries .… It doesn’t even count actually writing.
Some of those chores I actually did tackle today. Some I put off for another day. I had enough of them all land on today that I could have kept busy for a full 24 hours, if I’d wanted. But I wouldn’t have gotten any actual writing done. And the best part of writing is the writing.
Working at home – and particularly writing – is a delicate balancing act. If you spend all your time writing, there’s no way to know if you are actually any good. If you spend all your time doing the other stuff, you never get anything written. Either way, nobody gets to read your stories.
Also, as a writer, you are supposed to be reading whatever you can get your hands on. This gives your imagination ideas to work with, introduces you to new styles and voices. Lots of reading, in fact, taught me quite a bit about sentence structure, punctuation and other facets of writing. Alas, ‘reading’ is not on my To Do list.
I think I need to fix that.

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