Yes, writing for a writer is important. It is vital to write, put pen to paper, fingers to keys, and get some organized words down. But there has to be time set aside for the other things we enjoy in life, especially reading. We must eat and savor the talents of other authors.
There was a time when I binged. I was reading two books at a time, everything from Herbie Brennan to Margaret Weiss, Michael Crichton to George R.R. Martin, and my personal favorite, Jack Whyte. I was so consumed by their stories, I forgot I had a book inside of me. I’ve always wanted to publish ‘The Crystal Crux’ but time management skills, in regards to writing, were simply awful. I was a master at finding excuses not to write, the chief being the idea that I must have a block of time set aside for it, nothing less than an hour or even two. With this in mind, it was easy to procrastinate and justify it. I could read anytime I wanted. But writing, no, that was different.
At some point, however, we all need to take a good look at ourselves in the mirror and admit our weaknesses – and attack them. I decided it was time to finish ‘The Crystal Crux.’
“Masquerading as a man with a reason, my charade is the event of the season.” – Kansas (Carry On Wayward Son)
I jumped off the ledge and committed the next great sin – overindulgence. I stopped reading what I loved to read in order to focus on writing. It’s so easy to get lost when we commit ourselves blindly to a project, any project. If you are not careful, you’ll start hating the very thing you love to do.
My wife crochets. She loves to crochet. She sells some, but gives most of her projects away. That’s her passion. People have told her how good she is and how she should start a business. She has refused the urge to do this. She realizes that once it becomes a business, making a profit will become the goal. She will be making stuff people want to buy, even if its stuff she doesn’t want to make. Her heart won’t be in it.
That’s how my writing is. Sorry to tell you this, but I’m not writing for you. I’m not writing for an audience. This is why I’m self-publishing. I want to make some money but that is not why I’m doing it. I have a voice inside of me that wants to tell a tale. I want the tale to be what I want it to be. People will applause and people will criticize. That is fine. I want to make sure the applause and criticism hold equal sway over me – none at all.
I write because I want to write. I self-publish because I’m not a conformist – never have been. I want to complete the whole series eventually but I’m not on anyone’s timetable. This is not a job. This is passion. This is love. I will manage it like I do all the other things I do in life. It will get some of my time but not all of it. I actually pity people who are obsessive and can’t find time for all their loves. They are fully absorbed by their work, or family, or religion, or hobby. Our lives are so much more. Managing our time effectively can make room for all our loves and it is what separates the content from the anxious, the joyful and carefree from the glum and moody.