I’ve written for a living for close to a decade now, but I actually have very little to show for my years of experience.
So now I’m scrambling, trying to understand my own craft better, and you know what? Let the first lesson be that you should learn about your job wayyyy before the one-decade mark.
But the second best time to plant a tree is today, am I right? So no use crying over spilt milk (oh, we’re on a cliche journey with this post, so put on your seatbelts). Instead, let’s explore the skills any typical writer should have—or in my case, wishes he had.
Do you ever feel differently towards a problem depending on your mood?
I have. Take, for instance, my writing process. My attitude towards the blank page changes along with my mindset, most prominently before and after exercising. Ditto pre- and post-alcohol as well.
But the circumstances themselves don’t really change, do they? Only your point of view does. It’s a miracle, really, how difficulties can change just with a slight shift in perspective.
As much as I recommend avoiding the romanticism of the writer’s life, I do find myself fascinated by famous authors’ creative processes.
And what better way of fuelling this fascination than by gawking over their tools of creation?
To be honest, the only reason why I have a LAMY 2000 sitting in my drawer is because Neil Gaiman uses one to draft his stories. I’ve also written on Vim to emulate George Martin’s preference for Wordstar.
But now that I’ve decided to stop blindly going down the path of tool-collecting, I’ve found myself gravitating towards simpler and cheaper options.
I don’t believe in writer’s block. That’s right, I said it, the words of an ex-journalist that had this term banished straight from his soul through the involuntary administering of deadlines.
Editor just gave you a one-hour assignment? You better have the finished product by then, even if it includes quotes and facts from people you haven’t called.
I’m probably not as busy as most of you on here, but recent obligations have been eating away at my writing time.
And these surprise attacks come from all angles too. Maybe a mentee needs an entire day’s worth of guidance. Or maybe the weeds have grown uncontrollably in the garden. Or maybe it’s work on the weekends.
Either way, my adult life is an insatiable blob that only has an appetite for my leisure time. And thus I’ve found myself having to sneak in little pockets of writing time throughout the day instead of having a dedicated hour like I’m used to.
But that’s a small problem for me, right? After all, I did put up this post about micro-writing, so all I need to do is just write, right?
As it turns out, it’s not the writing that’s the problem. It’s attention.