Honestly, I don’t know that many writers. I’ve met several throughout my life, causally, occasionally interacting with them, but never gaining entrance into their lives and not many other writers have gained entrance into mine. But for some reason, and maybe it’s the time I spend online reading blogs, or quotes, or helpful hints about writers and writing, I feel that most writers have the mentality that they should write every day, no matter what.
I know I have that mentality that I should write every day and I berate myself quite harshly when I don’t meet my own expectations. Whether you’re writing a page per day, chapter per day, or a small writing prompt it is still assumed that you have to write every day no matter the word count, no matter the material.
Also, not just writing, but I’ve also seen several times that if you are to write every day and write well that you need to be reading as much, if not more than, you are writing. Do I read that much? I would like to say yes, but truthfully, I don’t get a chance to read as much as I used to when I was a kid. And that right there is the key to it all. Having the chance to write, having the chance to read. If I have a small window of opportunity to do either, I have to sacrifice not getting something else done.
There are heaps of writers out there who don’t write solely for a living. They juggle families, some sort of career, personal endeavors and whatever else on top of having a writing career or writing life. I work 8-10 hours a day at a random job that I picked up that has nothing whatsoever to do with my lifetime goals. After I’m done working, which everyday the hours are different. When I’m done with work I just want to collapse from exhaustion, but my story is calling to me, those piles and piles, rows and rows, of unread books begged to be read.
Nothing in the house ever rarely gets cleaned by me and if anything I have gone from writing several pages a day, to barely a page a day, and have since spiraled down to writing every so often. My story is suffering for my inability to discipline myself, my word count is suffering and in so my stress levels are rising. Writers, and I’m mostly speaking of myself here, have to have a life they lead. Whether that life is writing professionally, or tackling a career, dead in job, family, or all of the above, writers are bound by the inescapable social customs that is reality.
In vain I have tried several times to construct some sort of routine. Wake up, write, go to work, get off, read, write, go to bed… something of that nature, but nothing has worked out… How do I have my life: work, social, relaxation and still have the world I am trying to build? How can I possess all that I must keep to stay a part of reality while still trying to create lives and have them stay a part of their reality? How can I have my life and their world at the same time? Nothing that I’ve tried has seemed to work. My story, the story I’m working on, that I’ve been working on for months now, years if you count the very first time I wrote it when I was 12, MUST be written. There is not another option.
For those small communities of writers out there who has been successful juggling it all, how? How do you manage? You do you stay sane? What keeps you motivated? Because right now, the word count seems impossible and the books are stacking against me. Life demands life. I have three forms of life surrounding me demanding my time and I am unable to split myself evenly between them.