Monday, March 12, 2007

Disciplinary Action

So it turns out that to be a writer--to actually believe that you are one and to make other people believe it, too--you have to write something. I'm working on this part of begin a writer. I've go the "call-yourself-a-writer-and-you're-a-writer" thing down. And I've been sporatically publishing here and there. But it's the actual discipline of writing I'm having a bit of difficulty with. While I write regularly for Feed the Soul, and I just published the final article in my online series on home buying for Radiant Magazine, I'm not getting very far with my essay collection and that novel I keep thinking (and, to my dismay, telling people) about. I think I actually believe that if I keep talking about these things they'll materialize without any effort on my part. Clearly, I'm absolutely nuts.

The only good that can come out of this telling is that the pressure that it puts on me to perform, to not let all of these people down, is pushing me to get my arse in gear and write something. I know I keep saying this, but maybe if I keep talking about it I'll actually do it. In fact, I'm always the first person to point the finger at "talkers." You know people like this: they always have big plans, but never seem to see them through. They drive me crazy. And here I am, acting like a talker myself.

I don't want to be a talker. I want to be a doer. But how do I get from the talking to the doing?

I guess I just do.

Patresa recently posted about her realization that people treated her writing like a hobby because she treated it like a hobby, and that hit me as being true of myself, as well. So I'm going to start treating it like the job that it should be. Here's the plan. (Yes, I've made a plan, because "a goal without a plan is only a wish," and wishing never got me anywhere.) I'm committing to write at least 5 hours a week: 2 hours on either Tuesday or Thursday night, and three hours on Sundays. And this blogging thing, while I love it, does not count as my writing time. That means you may see less of me around here until I get into the grove of my new routine. I love you all, but I'll hate myself if I never really pursue this dream with all that I have.

I spent Sunday doing more market research and I'm sending my first essay out to more journals this week. The last five submissions were rejected, so it's on to the next group on my list. And I finished a second essay on Sunday, which I'm going to start submitting, too. I also started character sketches for my main characters for that novel I've been talking about. I'm going to be seeing an old friend in two weeks, and when I mentioned my goal to get a first draft finished this year, she told me she'd hold me to having at least a title page printed by the time we meet up. I want to have those character's fleshed out by then, instead. And I'm working through the Freelance Writer's Bible in the hopes that it will live up to it's promise and help me to develop a consistent writing practice and a lucrative freelance career.

Here's to living our dreams and making them happen!


patresa hartman said...


i hear you so loud and clear, sister. i am SUCH a talker and so not a doer. i really dislike that about myself.

it's so hard to stay on track when there are so many distractions (including the "hater" voices in my head).

on sunday i made a little writing log to keep track of my hours/pages/words per week (my goal is also 5 hours). and i have all of my goals written out per month. so far so good (considering it's been 2 weeks, and it is hard to be a complete failure in such a short anmount of time).

woo! look at us go!

katy said...

Good for you, Ami.

I hope to read some of your stuff sometime.

You go girl...

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