I spent the last month or more working on a project that ate up seventy to over a hundred hours per week. It still came in a few weeks late, accompanied by much red-faced yelling from my boss.
There's a writing lesson in there, of course.
All the while, I had thoughts of how neglected my writing was, and how certain famous authors were known for waking up two hours early every day just to write. I worried from time to time about how my platform must be suffering--not that I have much of one anyway.
Yet, work became the habit. Prior to this project, I loved writing. I put in the hours on the job, but most of my spare time involved writing, talking about writing, thinking about writing, or reading (often about writing.) Then Friday night when told not to work this weekend, I found it hard to let go. My mind kept drifting back to work. And even without that, it took effort to jump back into the old conversations.
And what was worse, my meager readership stats had dwindled, inspiring thoughts of anger and never-again towards working impossible hours.
But the lesson? Writing, as with anything, is about momentum and habit. And the world around me provides a kind of friction, a constant wearing away at my momentum. Keep pushing forward no matter what it takes. Get up an hour early. Stay up late. Tell the boss no. Set limits, create patterns, form habits.
The best advice I've heard this week is to always have your work-in-progress open and visible, even if you're wasting time on Facebook or whatever. It's not a bad idea. (Of course, it helps to have a WIP first.)
The old adages of "just write" and "be engaged" prove true once again.
Writer of speculative fiction. Current work in progress is an untitled dark fantasy novella.