I’m still recuperating from my weekend at Universal Studios: Orlando, amidst the sort of weariness that makes you feel like an old, wrung-out dishtowel, and lingering shin splints from all the walking. OMG the WALKING. I always forget how huge the Island of Adventure is in comparison to the main park until I’m forced to walk from the Superhero stuff through all the other stuff (Jurassic Park, Dr Suess, etc) in order to get to Harry Potter. And then there’s the walking all the way back to get to City Walk, through City Walk and back to parking at the end of the day. Seriously? Where’s the Hogwarts Express when you need it?
I am, in the immortal words of Michael Palin, “tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk”.
Also, did I mention “ugh”?
It’s at times like these I’m reminded of the “D” word. No, not that one. Not that one either. Really? C’mon, guys–get your heads out of the gutter. Sheesh.
The word I’m thinking of is “Discipline.”
And I’m kinda sorta BAD at it. Not so much in the normal course of things. But when I feel like this, all saggy and draggy, it takes a Herculean, physical effort just to get the laptop open. Yes, it’s good to take a day off now and again, but my problem is once I tumble off the wagon I tend to stay down for awhile, until the wagon comes round again. Then I have to be driven, like a team of mules and just as stubborn.
Because it’s easy to write when it’s, well, EASY. A professional, however, writes when it’s not. Especially when it’s not. After all, I have a day job I go to whether it’s easy or not. Often it’s not. I get tired and cranky there, too–but I push through the hard, because it’s my job.
Guess what? Writing’s my job too. I passed the aspiring, no-deadlines stage some time ago, when my first book came out. My second is coming out in April 2014. I have a couple of others in varying stages of progress. I have readers. *waves merrily* Therefore: Job. And I love it, I really do. But I have more stories I need to write, probably more than I’ll ever get done in a lifetime since I keep getting ideas. In order to get through as many as possible, the “D” word is an absolute must.
Besides, you only get better with practice. In order to get better playing piano, I have to limber up by doing excerices and drills before working my way through a piece. I have to do the same with writing–exercises and drills before hitting a WIP. It eases the pain, because instead of just staring blearily at a blank screen and the mockery of a blinking cursor, I know what needs to be done, and I get into the right mindset.
Now I just need to do it, lest I become an ex-writer.