Stalling Is Not Writing

Yesterday was a good day. Great sales day at work, I mowed the lawn, played with my kids, gave them a bath, did all of the dishes, swept and mopped the floors, and had great conversations with my wife and a friend. I’ve also been deviously tricky and the person I’ve tricked is me.

I’ve been stalling.

All of these things are not fillers. These are things that matter to me for practical reasons (work, the upkeep of my house) and because I love them (my wife, kids, and friend). Earlier today I talked with my wife and we agreed that Monday is a writing night. I planned to write 500 words on my latest work in progress, two blogs, and finish a few writing related emails. Once we got the kids settled I was going to head to my desk around 8:30pm or so. It’s 10:30pm on Monday.

I don’t know about you but occasionally when I have scheduled time to write I find myself doing other things. It’s not because I do not love to put words down on the page, I do. It’s more because I want to be ready mentally. I want to have my mind in the right place to prepare a brilliant meal that agents and readers will devour and beg for seconds. At least this is what I tell myself from time to time.

Writing Fuel
Let’s Do This!

Sadly, this cannot be done while on TSN.ca/NHL. Strangely enough, this cannot be done on Facebook, Twitter, my gmail account or anything else internet related.

So today, if you are reading this and you are not done with your novel and this is scheduled writing time, I ask you to stop reading. Stop and get to work. Our stories must live and they cannot do so when we are thinking of the perfect words, messing with our playlists, or daydreaming about a wicked huge contract. It’s time to grab our lunch pail and hard hat and get to work.

Write 500 words today.

Cheers,

Bob

Become A Professional Writer

I am amazed by professional hockey players. Of course you think I mean their ability to keep their balance but this is only part of what keeps me in awe. What captures me most is that for all but one month of the year they fill their days with routines of diet, exercise and discipline to be prepared for game time.

Nicklas Lidstrom former Detroit Redwings Captain
Nicklas Lidstrom former Detroit Red Wings Captain

This makes me think of my goal – to be a writer. I want to be a published novelist and I am waiting to hear back from an editor as I write this. But I do not have a routine. My writing time is not consistence and while I do my best to find that time each day, I still struggle with consistency and it shows in many places, especially here on my blog.

So, I have a question for you writer. How are you becoming a professional writer? How are you getting your writing time in, educating yourself and progressing? Books on writing speak of a thousand ways to improve and hundreds of things to consider when putting a book together. But they all settle on one main ingredient that is essential to becoming a novelist – showing up and doing so with consistency.

Today my alarm went off at 5:15am. I decided it was time to create “office hours” for myself to make sure I have writing time every day. I might make this earlier if needed, but I realize the importance of routine. Writing is hard work. Good writing even more so. I think it’s time we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

How about you?

Have you recently made a new dedication to the craft?

Do you need to?

There is no right time.

Start now.

Start today.

Cheers,

Bob

Day 4 of 500 Words – Writing Exercise

As many of you know, I love hockey. Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings for winning last night. Three more to go to take the quarterfinal series. Keep it up boys!

Yesterday, after the game I sat down at the computer. It had been a very long week. Travel for work, Clara was teething, and the last three days of the week I sputtered along on four to five hours of broken sleep a night.

Needless to say it was hard to sit down at the computer and get my 500 words. My body had no intention of following through and after arguing with myself and a little encouragement from my wife, I was able to complete the 500 words a little after midnight.

I played hockey for most of my life and there were some games that I scored goals and played fairly well. There

Me pretending to be an ice hockey player

were also other games where nothing went right. Most of the time it went well because I practiced and thought about strategies against the other team. It went poorly for the exact opposite reasons. I was working and could not practice, I did not take the time to think about match ups and the opposing goaltender.

This time, writing was just an exercise. I did not have a breakthrough. I do not have piles of pages to report. I did however continue the practice of writing, which will help if I have a plan the next time I sit down at the page.

Until tomorrow, keep writing.

Cheers,

Bob