Those Glitches in My Writing Career

Cartoon of Girl WritingI love my writing life. It’s given me great satisfaction over the years and a little bit of income, so I can’t complain. But there are days when things don’t go quite as smoothly as planned, especially on the domestic front.

Sometimes I’m a battle with my kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times the chili I’ve made winds up burned at the bottom of the pot because I was too engrossed in editing to remember to stir it. On occasion, I’ve forgotten to take something out of the freezer for thawing. I also tend to stick to the same ten recipes because I don’t want to take the time to search for new ones. Now that I’m on a leave of absence from the day job, I have been trying new dishes, though.

My nineteen-and-a-half-year-old cat likes to be near me when he’s not sleeping, which is a lot. Whenever I’m at the computer, he plunks himself in my lap and proceeds to drool over my hand and the keyboard. I keep a box of tissues nearby. There’s no point in yelling at him. He’s mostly deaf and lifelong habits are hard for him to break, so I gently put him down on the floor off he goes to find another place to sleep.

The cat is not the only daily interruption. I’ve always kept an open door policy for my family when writing (the kids are grown and don’t live at home anymore), but sometimes interruptions occur while I’m trying to sort out a difficult plotting problem. I’ve been known to give hubby a blank stare when he asks what’s for dinner, not because I don’t know the answer (although sometimes I don’t) but because I’m trying to pull my thoughts out of whatever scene I was working through.

My husband (an accountant) earns a lot more money from his job than I do from writing. When he does my taxes every year, I get a lot of chuckling about my “cute” bookkeeping system and an annoying amount of snickering about my income. But overall, these are minor glitches.

The larger ones include the occasional lousy book review, agents who take years to fail to sell my book, publishers who either dropped me or folded, and tiny royalty checks.

Still, these things are part of every writer’s life. You know as well as I do that every job and career choice has them. But for me, the pros outweigh the cons and glitches notwithstanding, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

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A Writer’s Strength

thinking-writing[1]I recently came across an interesting article in Entrepreneur entitled “12 Things Mentally Strong People Do That No One Else Does”. What struck me most about this piece is that you could substitute the word ‘people’ for ‘writers’ and it would be just as apt, if not more so.

For writers who plan to be in the biz for the long haul, I’d say those 12 ‘things’ are essential to survival and success, however you define that word. You can find the article HERE, but I want to share the five tips that stood out for me most:

.           Mentally strong people learn to say no

.           They overcome their inner critic

.           They delay gratification

.           They don’t blame others

.           They respect, and even like, their competitors

Two others, expressing gratitude and creating my own definition of success, are things I’ve already been doing a while. The one I’m working on these days is exposing myself to pain, which extends beyond my writing life.

If I can do better at the ones I’m stumbling over, perhaps the desire and stamina to write, publish, market and sell books for another twenty+ years will stay with me as well.