I Got a Question…
The question was basically how did I handle things like moves and sickness and other life rolls when I had book contracts. Good question, since for a few days right now I am deciding to not write as I get things switched around.
I am going to put much of my answer here expanded some.
I want to be clear that with traditional contracts and deadlines, I never missed a deadline in over a 100 novels. Not a one. And I thought writers who did miss contract deadlines to be problem writers. And as a ghost writer, I often wrote books for publishers because some famous writer couldn’t make a deadline.
So sick, traveling, death in the family, it didn’t matter. My contract deadlines always came first. How did I power through?
Simple. I stopped whining and just did the writing.
Writers, by our very nature, are whiners. And lazy and full of excuses. Pretty much all of us.
You want to see what it should really be like to be an internationally selling writer, simply watch the blind auditions on The Voice and listen to some of those stories about years on the road and working bars six nights a week. Fiction writers have it easy and we are trained by myths that actually spending a lot of time sitting alone and making stuff up must be hard work.
And if you write too much, spend too much time at making stuff up, you are called a “hack” and you can’t be any good.
Seriously. We are trained that you should write less to get better. And God forbid we think about practicing our writing. Which is why so many self-proclaimed great writers are teaching college and not writing much at all. They are the kings and queens of writing less, thus they must be the best. That’s how the thinking goes.
So what happened when I was faced with life crisis and moves and such when I was under traditional contracts? I just sucked it up and did the writing.
And I will be doing that shortly again. The key now is that I am in control of my own schedule and have no contracts, so I can pick when I get back to writing. Much saner.
But I am not going to whine about not writing. It is a choice right now. Nothing more and nothing less.
I could do it, I could force the time. But I am 67 years old, have over 200 novels and god-knows how many hundreds of short stories through my fingers. I can take a few days or a week for other stuff and still write in a year more than most whiners (I mean writers) ever will.
Go watch The Voice, listen to some of those stories, then ask yourself if you had to be on the road for ten years, work in a bar six nights a week, and make almost no money to do your writing, would you do it?
At times I worked that hard. And I now do this storytelling stuff for a living. Go figure.