Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Again, Off Again

That's what my relationship with my WIP feels like right now.

I've been really, really busy with freelance (i.e., paid) writing work this week, and when I have this kind of work week, the fiction writing tends to get back-burnered.

Right now it's barely lukewarm.

You know how us writers get told all the time to "write every day?" Well, I do write every day. I write so much I think I even write in my dreams. But I have a feeling that piece of advice has an implied, missing word: "write (fiction) every day." And I'm not doing that. Does it count if I'm exercising my writing muscles by writing newspaper stories? Magazine articles? Corporate copy? Blog posts? Twitter updates? Probably not, right?

I mean, it's not getting me any closer to becoming a published author.

I have manuscripts-to-be churning around in my head, but I can't get them out on paper until I take the time to sit down and feel them out. And I know me, and I won't do that until I finish the work-in-progress that's still in need of much editing ... I can't do two things at once. But I can do one thing at a time really well, so from here on, I have a new goal: Write (fiction) every day. Even if it's just for a little while.

Even if I'm really tired. Even if I wrote four articles today and interviewed for two more. Even if I wrote a blog post and tweeted twelve times and sent more e-mails than I can count. I'm going to fit it into my workday. Or during lunch. Or, if all else fails, at night when the house is asleep and I'm snuggled under a comfy blanket with my computer in my lap. Like I'm doing now.

So now it's off with the blog post, on with the WIP.

Photo courtesy Jim Sneddon


  1. I SO sympathize. I find it incredibly difficult to balance "paying" writing with fiction writing (not-yet-quite-paying), and the "problem" is that the more successful your nonfiction freelance career, the less time you have for your fiction! It's a conundrum, because obviously we want to generate income :).

    I applaud your new goal of working on your WIP daily--I think that can really help, because you don't have to rediscover your project every time you pick it up. You keep some momentum. For me, it also helps if I work on my WIP first thing in the morning, before deadlines and client contacts descend on me. Good luck!

  2. I like that idea of working on the WIP first thing. Since starting the writing biz, I've tended to inch slowly into my day - drink a cup of tea, read the headlines, check my e-mail ... then get to work. I'm going to try out your method this week. Thanks for sharing it!