I’ll make an admission: I haven’t written a word on my novel since around the end of 2016.
My old secondary laptop (old as in 2009 old) died without warning. My wife let me get a replacement, but I have yet to set it up.
When I had the old laptop, I had a relatively clean coffee table on which I worked. I had my main writing computer in front of me and my secondary to my left. I’d have my chapter up on my main system and my saved critiques (in PDF format) up on the secondary system. No need for split screen or any such inconveniences.
Then my old secondary died. All my critiques were on Google Drive, so I lost no data, but I was stymied as far as writing went for a while. The computer death happened right after I’d gone through a beta reading/critiquing cycle on Scribophile, so I was on a cycle of being unaffiliated with any of The Ubergroup teams. As a result, I was in no hurry to find a new secondary system. I took my time, made tons of comparisons, and finally settled on something that wasn’t too powerful but wasn’t behind the times. That took all of January.
Then I got sick. Sick as in multiple things hitting me at once. I had my right side back pain slam me to the ground. I had a tracheal cough that sounded like whooping cough. My previously clean writing area got cluttered with over a dozen bottles of pills. My wife made me wait until my health improved before I fired up the new computer and started writing again.
So I waited. And I waited. And I’ve been waiting.
Or have I?
Practically every writing manual you’ll ever read will tell you that you need to write every day. Thing is, though, what qualifies as writing?
When I stop and think about it, I have several outlets for writing. I have this blog. I have Facebook. I have Twitter. Most importantly, though, I have a forum where I’m chronicling two of my major life events: the medical problems I’m going through, and the introduction of a new cat. I write something on one of these outlets every day. Is it a copious amount of writing? Sometimes. Today’s blog entry is somewhat substantial, albeit not novel length. It is in the vicinity of a short story or essay, though. The important thing is I’m doing some kind of writing every day, just like the manuals and blogs and training books tell you to do.
I’m not really waiting to write. I’m just going about it a different way until I can get well again, and that’s the important part.
Grreat outlook. I take that particular advice with a grain of salt or else I’d feel guilty. I might not be consistentlt writing towards my WIP but I do write for my blog. And when I’m not physically writing, I’m writing inside my head. So it’s true, even when not writing.
Kathy Steinemann says
Good post, Lee. I’m glad to see that you activated comments!
Get well soon and unleash your novel!
D. Lee Jackson says
Thank you! It was a leap of faith, but I finally got the security in place for comments. Haven’t had many of them so far, but I’m working on that!
Heather Hayden says
You’ve got the right mindset! 🙂 Writing every day doesn’t mean you have to be working on a specific story. Some days, I write long essays of emails, other days, a novel chapter, other days, a single paragraph of an idea that may or may not ever been expanded upon… As long as you are writing, you are a writer, and that writing doesn’t need to be in a regular, day-by-day basis, either. 🙂
I’m sorry to hear about your health issues… I hope things have gotten better for you since this post (I’m catching up on blogs right now after a period of inactivity, hence the belatedness of this comment.)