Saturday, April 13, 2019

Year of an Indie Writer: Week 15

Scott D. Parker

Sometimes the day job can get you down.

Day Job Writers Have Security...

I think many a writer also holds down a separate day job. Mine is actually marketing/technical writing, so I'm constantly writing. And sometimes it drains the creative mind of some of its energy.

I'm not the only one. On Thursday, David Nemeth commented his day job is kicking his ass and it is sapping his creativity. He asked for some tips on how to cope. I offered my own:

"Wake up early and write before the day job. Set a time in which you have time to wake, pee, get coffee, exercise at least 5 minutes (I do jumping jacks, run in place, lift dumbbells, all with a timer), and then have time to write. It's worked for me pretty well. 4:30 am is my wake up time, but I adjust it depending on how late I stay up.

Oh, here's a new thing I've started on workdays since the first Monday of February: no snooze. If you have to adjust because you stayed up late, then adjust. But don't snooze.

If you get a lunch break, take that time to write. Or read. Or basically not to the day job. Helps me every day."

That last bit is my island in the middle of the day. It's my time to turn off the concerns of the day job and return to 1940 (my Ben Wade story) or some blog I'm writing. Plus there is nothing like the thrill of driving to the day job knowing you have already written. It also helps when the day job throws you a curve ball.

...But Still Have to Deal with the Day Job

My company is in conference and trade show season. Lots to do. Lots to think about. And, despite my best attempts, I've found my lunch hours gradually shrinking this past week. Sometimes, it's a 1pm meeting I have to prep for. Other times, it's an 11am meeting that run right up to the noon hour. Either way, the lunch hours grew shorter this week. Bummer, but, like David on Thursday wrote, the work has to get done.

Make Believe is Supposed to be Fun!

In her weekly Thursday column, veteran writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch reminded writers of why many of us first took up a pencil, a pen, or a pixel. The fun and joy of make believe.

So many of us writers constantly strive to learn more about marketing, selling, and doing the little things it takes to run our small business. All important, yes, but when it comes to the act of writing, have a blast! Don't think about selling. Think only of make believe!

A great reminder this week as I found myself getting behind on producing the next story.

An Improptu Shazam-Themed Week of Blogs

Last Friday, I saw the Shazam movie. Loved it. Then I scoured my bookshelves and found a treasury sized comic and read it. I kept going, all the way back to 1941 and the Adventures of Captain Marvel movie serial. Next I shot back to the 1970s and the Shazam TV show. I finally ended up in 1994 and Jerry Ordway's The Power of Shazam graphic novel.

In hindsight, I should have expected my interest in Shazam to be rekindled and read up ahead of time. I've done that in the past, but I actually enjoyed the way I did it this week. Everything Shazam-related thing I consumed I was able to compare to the new movie as well as each other.

By the way, I enjoyed Ordway's comic so much that I'm going to flip through my long boxes and see how many individual issues I bought back in the 1990s. Hopefully more than a few.

Aztec Sword Arrives Soon

In the next week, I plan on finalizing the text of the description of the third Calvin Carter adventure. I'm still proofing the text and dang if I don't enjoy this book pretty well. This one is part an old-fashioned treasure hunt/find-the-maguffin story. Here's the funny part: it's been a minute since I last read the book that I've kind of forgotten the ending. I wonder if Carter gets out of all the scrapes I put him in?

Guess I'll have to read and find out.

How was your week?


David Nemeth said...

Thanks for your comment on my post. I returned home from Charlotte NC after being away for two weeks. I woke up and wrote for 30 minutes . . . not great but 30 minutes more than yesterday.

Derek Farrell said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one.
My day job is odd - lots of what looks like inactivity but is really setting up for deals or projects, and then the whirlwind hits and it's insane.
But I'm finding lately that I could be properly busy 8 hours a day with writing. If only it paid like the day job :-)