This writing year has had an ugly beginning. Normally, the start of the year is when I recommit to a writing schedule, and I build up a good “average words/week” (even hit my 3000 word target a few times), so by the time I get to the inevitable HOLIDAY DROP-OFF at the end of the year, I still have a decent average for the year.
This year the drop-off has come early and often (like how dead democrats vote.) I love writing (or is it love/hate? You other writers know what I mean.) So why is it so hard to just start back up?
We are creatures of habit.
When I first got SERIOUS about writing, I tried to set a consistent time every day that I would write, but it took me six months to realize that the time I chose was never going to work (even that daily failure became a habit.) Once I picked an early morning time-slot with no other demands on it, the habit of successfully writing stuck. This year there have been changes in my day-job that have caused me to shift my REGULARLY SCHEDULED writing time, and so far I haven’t found the replacement slot. So there’s one part of the problem.
Another thing you have to do as a CREATIVE writer (as opposed to, say, writing emails or documentation) is to get into the habit of just LETTING IT FLOW out onto the page (I know most of us are digital now, but you know what I mean – it’s still a page.) I don’t know about the rest of you, but it takes me a while to get into a rhythm where I can ignore the constant harping of my internal editor so that he finally gives up and let’s me write. Getting up steam is cumulative – maybe exponential (how would you measure it?), and every minute, every day of practice increases my output. But when I fall off that horse (does that mean I’m falling off a STEAMING HORSE? Sorry about mixing metaphors…), it’s like I have to start all over.
It’s hard for me to get back into rhythm – my RESOLVE to JUST DO IT DISOLVES, and I start overthinking everything; writer’s block may not be in full force, but it does slow me down. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration (oh cut it out – it’s really not that bad.) I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain (AND the story I should be writing.)
Writing is like an addiction, but a drug addict is probably more dedicated to his habit than I am to mine. Isn’t that sad? Then again, I can’t afford to let my habit destroy the rest of my LIFE (he can’t either, but he does anyway); there are always other things that have to be taken into account in this balancing act.
I can’t stop life. Maybe what I need to do is figure out how to develop a new habit – the ability to INSTANTLY RESUME where I left off, instead of having to work back up to it again. It doesn’t seem to be in my nature, but then what IS natural about what we humans do, anyway?
If any of you out there have some hints about how you handle the restart (or any of this remounting), I would be gratified to read your COMMENTS (hint, hint, hint.)
In honor of my infection by rose rosette (or whatever it is that’s growing on my finger), the coupon for “The Black Spot” continues:
On a routine shift, one of the miners is exposed to something…different. The company doctor says it’s just in his head, and he’s right, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. There may be a Workman’s Comp claim here…
Use coupon code WC38X to get 100% off the cover price at Smashwords (do the math – that means IT’S FREE!) until April 23rd. Here’s the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/378102?ref=NoTimeToThink
“The Black Spot” is also available in my fourth collection, surprisingly titled (if you haven’t been paying attention): Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.
Up for ePublication next is my speculative short story “Solid People”:
The afterlife is what you make of it. A run-in with Mr. Topp’s flatbed strands Sarah and her mother in Newbury. Despite her mother’s warnings about becoming attached to things, Sarah decides to spend her time with some Solid People.
It’s a very short one, spawned simply by a double entendre title and time spent in a couple of small towns in Texas and Nebraska.
Release date is May 6th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Burial Details”, can be found in many places, including:
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri