My Writer’s Life: Keeping The Momentum Going

I’ll admit. Taking this first step kind of freaked me out a bit.  Okay.  Freaked me out a lot. And I’m not sure why, either.  It’s not like I’m still anonymous or anything.  My face is definitely out there and will be somewhere on this site – once I can figure out how to do it, that is.  Still learning.

I suppose I do find all this self-employment, working for myself thing a little daunting.  The more I learn about all the ins and outs, the more uncomfortable I get.  I’m used to someone else handling the finer details related to that little thing called a paycheck.  Before this new life began, I was only responsible for spending the thing. Now, I’m responsible for all of it as well as arranging for the work that gets the paycheck in hand.

There are times when I think it would be much easier to just go out and get the job, already. Wouldn’t have to worry about where the next paycheck will be coming from.  Someone else will deal with the minute details.  Income would be fairly stable.  Then there are the medical benefits.

Only one, small problem with that idea. I wouldn’t be happy working for someone else again. Having someone else control when I worked, when I took time off or giving me grief because I had to call in sick again or take time off for the needs of my parents.  I am an only child so that makes me the sole caretaker.  No one else can go with them to doctor’s appointments, drive when a driver is necessary or just be there when needed for whatever reason.  It’s one reason I moved back in with them.  They are both in their late 70’s and I cherish this time together.  I know how blessed I am to still have them in my life and that I can consider them my best friends.

Of course, being so accessible means that I am very accessible.  Just a flight of stairs or, as has been the case now that we all have our own phones, a phone call away.  Basically, I can add them to the list of distractions I have as I try to work from home.  Good distractions but distractions nonetheless.  All part of the problem of keeping the momentum going.  After I get done freaking out, that is.

Then there’s the distraction of just sitting in front of the computer.  Emails, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ – all crying for attention.  I have transitioned all my writing to a laptop now, which helps. However, my best writing happens when I meet my writer’s group at Panera.  Not as many distractions there, thankfully.  We do some chatting for a while before we actually get to work but eventually, work does commence.  In fact, I’m writing this post at Panera.  Listening to music from Dr. Who, as it happens.  Plugged in is a lot less distracting than not.  I usually write to music, soundtrack type music my preference.

Aside from working on this site to get it set up for both author and copywriter, I have two other projects in the works.  One is the novel that I’ve been working on for the last year or so.  Still in revisions with lots of rewriting since a change took place with one of the main characters.  The other is a short story for the upcoming Writer’s Digest competition.  This will be the third submission to a Writer’s Digest competition.  Apparently the first two didn’t make it since I haven’t heard anything about either of them yet.  I figure that each time I submit something, I’m coming closer to actually getting somewhere.  It’s a rationalization but at least it keeps me writing.

One of my faults right now writing-wise is that I do not write every day.  I know I should and it is the best way to get better.  It also saves time when working on a long-term project like a novel. I tend to lose track of my characters and need a refresher before I can start writing again.  Short stories are a little different.  I can usually come up with a rough draft in a day.  It’s the revisions that bog me down. It’s not called ‘revision hell’ for no reason, you know.  Coming up with the story and writing it in the kind of frenzy that is a rough first draft is a lot more fun.  It’s the revisions that can hinder the momentum.  For me, anyway.

But revisions are a necessary evil.  I’ve read too many self-published books from Amazon that would have benefited from even a quick revision pass and some that just needed a complete overhaul.  I don’t want my work to be seen in that way so revision hell must be endured for however long it takes to get the thing polished enough for public consumption.  Or when I decided enough is enough.

This brings me to a very important question.  How will I keep the momentum going now that I have projects to work on, one of which has a definite deadline of May 6?

Writing every single day would be one way of doing that.  The discipline to do so, however, is more than lacking.  I’ve been in ‘vacation’ mode ever since October 2014 when my employer decided my services were no longer required.  But it wasn’t wasted time.  The last 18 months have given me time to breathe, destress, decompress and collect myself so that I can start on this new journey.  It is daunting.  Still so much to learn, so many tasks that need to be completed before I’m settled into my version of the writer’s life.

Blogging will definitely help.  Since writing this entry, I’ve felt the necessary desire and focus to keep the momentum going.  This is the life I’ve wanted for so long.  I actually had people praying for me that things would work out so that I could begin to live this life.  Seems a waste of good prayer not to follow through.  At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself.

I know this post is getting a little long but I have one more thing to say.  At the beginning of this year, I chose a word to represent what the new year meant to me and what I wanted to accomplish by the end of it.  That word is ‘risk’.  There is also a phrase that came to mind when I chose that word.  “Do it afraid.”  Anyone who has heard Joyce Meyer has heard her use this phrase. Since this new life takes me out of my comfort zone and, I’ll admit, frightens me just a bit, I think this phrase fits perfectly.

So, here’s to doing it afraid and taking risks this year.

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