Can I let y’all in on a little secret? Writing is a job. It’s a job I love, but never the less, it is a J-O-B. The “UGH” is because as much as I appreciate my friends, some of them don’t realize that my writing career is my JOB.
Some of my friends get it. I had one friend call me. The conversation went kind of like this:
Friend: Haven’t seen you on FB in a while. Everything okay?
Me: It’s good. Just writing my fingers to bloody stumps. I’ve got to have three books ready for publication—one in October, one in November, and one in December. I’m also deep into edits on the fifth book with my publisher.
Friend: Oh, my gosh…well, I won’t keep you. I know how busy that makes you and how stressed it makes you. Just wanted to let you know how we did at the dog show today. I’ll text pictures. Oh, and mom says write faster. She’s already read all your other books twice.
End of conversation. Friend texted me pictures of the dogs we co-own with their ribbons. I was genuinely happy for her and incredibly appreciative of her understanding that this writing thing is my J-O-B.
As one of my beta readers said in my street team when I posted how many books I have to have written by the end of the year—“That’s a lot of beta reading, too.” Yes, yes it is.
I have another “friend”…when I’m this tight under a deadline, I delete Messenger from my phone. I delete FB from my phone. I hide the hot-spot so I have to actively get my butt up and look for it to turn it on. (Yeah, I once lost it for several days because I couldn’t remember where I hid it—and wouldn’t you know, I needed to get on the internet to double check a historical fact.) This friend sends me multiple messages, each one getting snarkier and snarkier about why I’m not answering (ummmm, maybe because I didn’t see the messages?), and then messages a mutual friend with an even snarkier missive. This person doesn’t get it. I’m at the little homestead in Tennessee because there are fewer distractions to my J-O-B.
Just as when I show dogs, when I’m writing, I can seem to be very distant, very aloof, and VERY unapproachable. When I’m showing dogs, I tune everything and almost everyone out, so I can focus on the J-O-B at hand and give 150% to the dog(s) I’m showing. Just as with writing, if I don’t put the effort into showing, the end result is NOT pretty.
So, if there is a writer in your life, please understand—whether that writer is published multiple times or just getting started—writing is a J-O-B. Writing isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it for someone who isn’t self-motivated. Even the most self-motivated people sometimes struggle to get motivated. It takes a lot to keep people at arm’s length so a writer can focus and concentrate on getting the words on the page. As writers, we jealously guard the time we have to write. For some of us, it’s only ten or fifteen minutes a day. For people like me, it’s a full-time occupation. It’s my JOB. So, unless the house is burning down, someone has severed a limb, or there is a skyscraper sized asteroid hurtling toward earth—please think twice before interrupting the writer in your life when he or she is in a serious relationship with their keyboard.
Now, as I’m not smelling smoke, no one is screaming for an EMT, and there doesn’t appear to be a planet killing asteroid headed toward us, I have three books to write. You can check out where one of those books will be set by going to this FB page: https://www.facebook.com/brokkenroad/