This week, with less than a full plate of freelance work, I’ve been trying to focus on making writing a priority again, on getting back into a kind of routine.
By writing, I don’t just mean the actual time I spend typing out words and adding on to/revising stories and essays.
To write, and to be successful as a writer, I need to do other things too: read, research, and submit. There’s the writing part of writing, and the working part.* I’ve been trying to weave both into my days. This means allotting writing time, time for researching other writing ideas or opportunities, time to put together submissions and contest entries and so on, and even time to read. If I don’t, one of those important tasks gets away from me. Obviously, I can’t do all on the same day, every day. But I have been trying to write and read every day. And yesterday, I made a concerted effort to put together a stack of submissions. I have not been able to stick to the once-a-week declaration I made about submitting, but once a month is better than once every three or four months, so perhaps I can maintain that.
I find that if I keep on top of these hings, I feel so much more satisfied with my days. Just an hour of writing in the morning sustains me through a whole day of unrelated freelance work, or even the lethargy that comes when I don’t have freelance work. I feel as though I have accomplished something, that I’m doing the work I need to be doing. And that’s an important component to sustaining the life of a writer.
*I suppose many people see the writing part as the working part. I see the working part as all of the administrative tasks related to being a writer. That stuff is like a full-time job.