The other day a Tweet flew by on my timeline that honestly made me grind my teeth and minimize the window so I didn’t smack someone. I was so annoyed, I didn’t even click the blog link associated with said mini rant. Why? Because it’s stupid attention-seeking writer dribble. Another way for my ilk to fluff their plumage and say, “I know the best way to be a writer, and it goes against EVERYTHING all the big-name writers tell you. So obviously I’m right because I’m not a conformist sheeple.”
Blah, blah, blah.
We all do it. Every writer is a special fucking snowflake. No two books are created the same. But there’s one truth every single one of us must grasp:
We aren’t writers if we aren’t writing and finishing projects.
Most writers say, “Write every day.” Which is what the twit I mentioned earlier railed against. Why? I have no gods damned clue. “Write every day” makes sense. Writers write. It’s kind of our thing, with the goal being a finished manuscript to shove in peoples faces like an ugly baby photo. “I don’t care if it’s got a giant wart instead of a nose, isn’t it adorable!?”
My mantra is similar to the “Write every day” notion. Instead I say, “Make progress every day.” Because I honestly cannot tell what day will yield five-thousand words or fifty words. Or no words at all. With bipolar, there’s no way to predict the day once you wake. On days when writing doesn’t happen, I make notes, work on the outline, research that odd bit of trivia which may well be the turning point in the plot–all with the goal to make some sort of forward progress with the manuscript. Would I like to hash out five-thousand plus words a day? You bet your ass. Can I make it happen? Yes, but some days I end up so frustrated and pissed at myself it isn’t worth the bad I’m doing to my mental state to force the words out.
So I make progress. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. It’s the same way I handle my mental issues. When I started writing full-time, using what’d worked for my brain seemed a logical way to handle my workload. And it’s working. I produce two books a year, plus numerous reviews and survival articles. I could do more, but there has to be a little “me” time in my schedule. The voices cannot have full reign. Then I’d start stabbing or fucking people willy-nilly. Sometimes at the same time.
What? I don’t write fluffy children’s stories, guys. Did you miss that memo?
Honestly, I don’t care if you write fanfic, short stories, zombie erotica, spacepunk novels starring cute vampiric bunnies, poetry, gods damned computer manuals–make progress every day. Every bit of progress adds a drop of vodka in the glass that when full will be your finished product. And it feels great to drink in that finished manuscript. But you can’t drink without adding the booze.
I got side-tracked somewhere in there. Hopefully you get the idea. I have vampires to torment now. What characters are knocking on your brain today?