Writing? Who Has The Time For It?
I’m going to share a little secret about myself: I’m not very focused all the time. As much as I dole out advice about hitting my 2,000 word a day writing goal, sometimes things get in the way. Sometimes it’s life (kids want to bother me about food) or I have to actually leave the house for something ridiculous (like buying food for the kids).
The goal of any writer, especially a full-time writer, is to write every day and advance their career, right? Except… sometimes I get in the way of my own career.
Today is a typical day. I’ll roll out of bed at the bright and early time of 9:42 am. Immediately go to Facebook to see who sent me a message or posted something interesting since midnight, when I went to bed. About 10:30 I start to realize I forgot to turn the coffee on again, and do that. I’ll check my sales from yesterday, begin the task of sorting through 500+ e-mails (most of it simply deleted), and then realize it’s already noon, my coffee is cold, and my stomach is making weird noises.
I go to the kitchen, make something delicious to eat (i.e. fast, I’m not much of a cook) and while eating my tuna on a cinnamon raisin bagel (don’t knock it til you try it), I work on my Twitter accounts, answering questions and adding people who are real who followed me, deleting those who haven’t followed me back after awhile, and seeing if anyone is retweeting my posts.
Now it’s almost 2 pm and I glance at the huge dry erase board on my wall, crammed with my barely legible tiny writing. Today I have 45 open projects listed. Some of them short stories for upcoming anthologies or projects I haven’t begun yet. Some are on an actual deadline with publishers and due very soon. Some, like Dying Days 5, were added to the list the day Dying Days 4 came out (yep, I’m sneaking a plug in). I swear it won’t take me another year to finish the next installment, even though I’ve been swearing since Dying Days came out.
I need to focus and work. I need to hit my daily goal. Isn’t that what’s paying the bills? Isn’t my writing the reason I don’t have a real job? Isn’t the daily goal supposed to get me in gear each day?
Only today it might as well be a billion words, because it is beyond me. I’ll never catch up. I’ll never get anything done. Today is about promoting the latest book (shameless plug #2: my Dying Days 4 zombie novel). I have three interviews I’ve been meaning to answer, so I dive into it. I write in my hilarious answers and actually LOL until it hurts. I send them off to the interviewer with an author photo and cover art and links and bio and anything else their hearts desire. I am here for them, because they are here to promote me.
Satisfied I’ve done something constructive today, I look at the time and realize it is nearing 4 pm. In about 90 minutes Special Gal will arrive from a long day at an actual job and ask me how my day was, which really means how many words did you write instead of playing your Facebook baseball game? I’m currently hooked on MLB Ballpark Empire, so if you’re also playing feel free to add me as a friend and send me laser scanner. Yeah. Don’t judge me.
Now I do the mad dash to get something (anything) written. At least make some progress and not lose another day to promoting and wasting time. But where to start? There are always 3-5 projects open I’m working on. Special Gal made me a cool spreadsheet so I can keep track of the priority stories with deadlines, both from publishers and self-imposed. The dry erase board is the reminder in my face each and every moment I don’t write.
Which I’m not doing because I’m staring at the dry erase board and then at the really cool giant Marvel Comics prints I have on my wall. I bought them from…
Stop! Write something. Anything.
I’m working on a horror novel that an actual agent might be interested in reading. I’ve never really worked with an agent and I’m not sure if having one is worth anything in this day and age, but I might as well give it a shot. I never put all my eggs in one basket.
Now I want eggs. Maybe an omelet for lunch tomorrow.
I jump right into the horror novel, picking it up where I left off. Beta readers and editors have told me I write a pretty clean first draft, but it’s taken years to get to this point. Once I begin writing I am super-focused and know where the story is going and how to get there.
“How’s it going?”
I look up and Special Gal (gorgeous as always) is in the doorway to my office with a smile and a raised eyebrow.
I panic. I lost track of time.
“It’s going… great,” I mumble and frantically hit the word count button.
2,005 words. Luckily, she had to stop for gas and food on the way home. The extra 20 minutes allowed me to hit my goal.
Imagine how much I could write if I started with the actual writing (after remembering to turn on the coffee) and didn’t worry about messages and Facebook posts and… remember, send me a laser scanner for the game…
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not watching the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music… and because of him they won the 2013 World Series, so he’s pretty good at watching!
He’s written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:
“Dying Days” extreme zombie series
“Keyport Cthulhu” horror series
“Flagler Beach Fiction Series” contemporary fiction
“Metal Queens” non-fiction music series
he also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool. He’s a proud Active member of HWA as well.
You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com
and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:
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