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The practicality of my writing life... - Elf M. Sternberg
The practicality of my writing life...
I have a small secret: I wasn't at work at all last week. I took the week off because I had hoped to do NaNaWriMo this year, write something interesting, and put it together in a way that would eventually lead to print. My ideal situation was simple: I'd go to the local cafe' at 8:00 and write until 1:00. Five hours, five days: a total of 25 hours of "just writing" time, with no internet access and no distractions. Giving my past history, I should have been able to hit at least 30,000 words in that time.

It didn't work out that way. Kouryou-chan had a dental appointment, Yamaraashi-chan missed the bus one morning, Omaha caught the flu bug, then Kouryou-chan got it. Crisis piled on top of crisis. Instead of 25 hours, I managed 9.

I still managed to put out 14,068 words in that nine-hour period. But damn, it's been one long frustrating exercise in learning just how little support my family really has to get anything done. It explains the insanely early shift I operate at the office to make sure I do enough before I have to run out and drive the children to their various appoinments (Omaha can't drive because of her epilepsy; how do you explain to your boss that the healthy, robust, and beautiful woman you went out to lunch with yesterday is physically handicapped in ways people trapped in wheelchairs aren't?).

Omaha and I talk once in a while about my going semi-pro with my writing, creating marketable materials and so on for my stuff, and eventually branching out of the erotica niche into more ordinary science fiction and fantasy. I'd like to keep my hand in the erotica, at least on the web and in POD (now that I've found Lulu). But to do this, I would need to write 1000 words a day, minimum, and maybe hit 2000 words a day, when working on a novel. Experience has taught me that, between the day job and my responsibilities as a parent, that may well be impossible.

Well, bleah.

Current Mood: tired tired

8 comments or Leave a comment
pixel39 From: pixel39 Date: November 13th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
how do you explain to your boss that the healthy, robust, and beautiful woman you went out to lunch with yesterday is physically handicapped in ways people trapped in wheelchairs aren't?

"She is medically not allowed to drive, she has epilepsy." You have to start somewhere.

For me it's usually "I have fibromyalgia and the thermostat is set too low for me."
seraphs_folly From: seraphs_folly Date: November 13th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Things like epilepsy and fibro are called invisible disabilities and, over here in Kiwiland at least, there are specialised support resources to help people deal with the invisible part (which means its not immediately obvious the person has a problem on the outside - I have one and its kinda interesting to explain to the old lady trying to queue jump that youre having a harder time standing there than she is!). You can hopefully find some helpful resources where you are. But as pixel was saying - most people understand epilepsy and that it means medication and unpredictable fits so why not just try the direct approach. :)

As for the writing... sometimes when I'm excited about my writing thats the hardest time to sit down and do it. Anything will whisk me away because I am keyed up about it. You write at a fantastic rate - maybe you just need to draw a deep breath and start over. Good luck.
mouser From: mouser Date: November 13th, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

It sounds like you are your own worst enemy

Read This.

You're a prolific writer - when you aren't being distracted. The issue reads as if you PREFER being distracted by your family. You'd rather play and cater to them than do anything that might be work. I don't blame you for that, but it's not going to pay bills.

What's your average words/hour rate when you're working? By the rate above, you can (if you bust ass) write three times your minimum in two hours. If you can't work from home and COMMIT to two hours a day of work everyday, then you shouldn't do it. Not everyone can.

Even on a BAD week (kids and Omaha sick, having to buy groceries, etc) you should easily be able to get a couple of half days in - unless you get distracted as easily as I do.

I admit that I'd like to see you write more, but if you cant close the door on a home office and have both you and your family respect that as "Daddy is at work now" then it's a lost cause.

Maybe I'm wrong, but lots of aspiring writers (it's not paying all your bills so you get "aspiring") as well as other home workers have the problem of "Go ask your father, he's right over there." when they're trying to work.

When I was on a working vacation with my family, it was mom coming in every twenty minutes asking if I needed anything. "Being left alone so I could work!" didn't work all that well (like the "I'm respecting your privacy by knocking, but asserting my authority by coming in anyway!" thing some parents do.)
kenshardik From: kenshardik Date: November 13th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to keep my hand in the erotica

Just your hand?
elfs From: elfs Date: November 15th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Other body parts would require intervention from other people. I have volunteers, mind you, but that's during the data gathering phase. Writing itself is an activity "which you must not necessarily be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards" (Heinlein).
whatthehay From: whatthehay Date: November 14th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
"Omaha can't drive because of her epilepsy; how do you explain to your boss that the healthy, robust, and beautiful woman you went out to lunch with yesterday is physically handicapped in ways people trapped in wheelchairs aren't?)."

Sigh. I can relate. If I'm very careful and make sure I don't push myself when I shouldn't, my seizures are very well controlled. But I can't get my boss (or the EEO for that matter) to agree that if I'm feeling as if I may have a seizure, it would be ok for me to take my own leave and stay at home, preferring that to having a seizure behind the wheel of the car.

However, since I *have* been so successful (no seizures in 10 years), EEO and management don't consider that I have a disability.

So, it's back to calling in sick with migraines and stomache cramps or whatever I can think of to say.

Makes me mad.
halloranelder From: halloranelder Date: November 15th, 2007 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
If you wrote, I'd buy it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)


Make peace, not war!
8 comments or Leave a comment