Chuck Wendig has a theme that resonates through his blog and work, and has a popular writer’s prayer that he shares on his website: www.terribleminds.com
Here are the final lines of it:
I am the Commander of these words.
I am the King of this story.
I am the God of this place.
I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.
But I think it all boils down to this: Get your shit done. Starting a new project is easy and fun, but like a battered marathon runner, you are going to hit a wall on it, and hit it hard. It will feel dead and lifeless and you’ll wonder why you ever thought writing it was a good idea. In fact, it will seem like the stupidest idea you ever had…
Your Inner Critic will howl in protest anytime you open the document on your computer and urge you to check out your friends’ Facebook status instead. It will try to convince you that you have to have a Peanut-Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen right now, or that the top shelf of your closet, that hasn’t been even looked at since you moved in 15 years ago, needs reorganizing. The Inner Critic will fight dirty, making you feel like you are neglecting your kids and wife, ignoring your mother and siblings, and irritating all of your friends.
I am the king of unfinished projects. Just ask my wife about the master bathroom remodeling that has now been going on for 6 years. Most of it is done, but some minor drywall patching needs to be done, a touch-up of paint, as well as an under sink cabinet drawer that needs to be repaired because of my dash into the open drawer full force, ripping off the front of it while trying to reach a ringing phone that turned out to be my credit card company letting me know that there were no problems with my account, but that they had some new services to offer me…
I’ve been struggling to find balance lately. Trying to walk the tightrope of a full-time day job, a commute that now takes almost 90 minutes of my day (I hear some of you in huge, traffic-clogged, cities crying sarcastic BOO-HOO’s right now… 90 minutes is bad?? But considering my commute for almost three years was rolling out of my bed in my sweat pants and Batman t-shirt and going out to my home office and turning on a computer, this is a dramatic change.) and the demands of domestic life (scheduling medical appointments, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.) take up almost all of the remaining free time I have left. As a result, the blog has been placed on the back burner.
I’ve been continuing to work on my latest project, tentatively titled: Creative Thinking for Creative Writers. I’m about to pass the 30,000 word mark of the first draft by writing during lunch breaks at my desk. But it has been a slow crawl. Much slower than I wanted it to be. Although I shoot for 1000 words a day, 500 words often ends up being a good writing day for me. And some days, work is so hectic that I can’t even think about working on OTHER writing projects during my break times… I just can’t.
And, for whatever reason, I never seem to find the time to write during the weekends… last weekend I cleaned out my closet, packed away my summer clothes, shopped for groceries, and scoured eBay for Christmas gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I still wasted plenty of time on Facebook, watching TV and aimless web surfing, so the opportunities are there… but so is resistance, and when there is so much to do constantly surrounding you, it is hard to buckle down and get the writing done.
Getting in the habit at work is a start. It is progress from where I was on many days when I was unemployed and had entire days free, so I’m going to keep plugging away, word-by-word until this shitty first draft is finished… and then unleash the critic on it and fix it up.
I’ll also post second drafts of sections of the book for you all to get a preview of it and maybe get some feedback if you find any of it to be helpful.