May 31, 2018

it's time to get my act together


I have a problem.

I've tiptoed around this subject in newsletters, on social media, and even here for (at least) the past year. But today, I'm going to spell it out explicitly, so there's no doubt.

I'm in trouble with my writing career.

This isn't specifically about the industry, sales, reviews, or marketing. (Though, in fairness, those are contributing factors.) No, my biggest problem is that I'm not writing. Sometimes it's just not writing consistently. Other times, it's plain not writing at all. I've spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out the source.

Am I too busy? That's kind of a BS explanation. Everyone is busy. I've always had a lot to do. But when I had something to write, I wrote.

So is that the problem then? Do I not have anything to write? The ideas constantly churning and swirling around and around in my head would beg to differ. I have tons of ideas. More ideas every day. All of them want to be told.

Do I have the writer's version of stage fright?

Do I just suck as a writer?

Do people hate my writing? And maybe me?

Do I hate my writing and myself?

On and on. And I'll be honest, it's maybe a little of all those reasons and more. But after spending so much time trying to pinpoint why I'm not writing, I've decided I've wasted enough time thinking about it. I'm sure the causes are all valid and worthy of consideration, but they pale after I came to this conclusion: I want to keep writing. To hell with fears, inhibitions, sales, edits, etc. etc. When it's all said and done, whether I (or anyone) want them, I have stories I want to tell and I want to be the one to keep telling them. At least for now. And as long as that's true, then I should do something about it.

Upon coming to this consensus, I realized I should probably do something about the not writing. It's not as simple as telling myself to sit down and write my book every day. I try that, and it doesn't work. So I really sat and considered when I was happiest as a writer, and I realized it was at the beginning of this journey. Years ago. When I made myself write a blog post just about every week day for a year, because I wanted to train myself to be a writer. And when I finished writing my blog posts, I found myself wanting to work on my stories too. While I didn't love every minute of it, the process made me happy.

That's when the idea popped into my head.

In an effort to duplicate those conditions (or to at least see if it'll jog some repressed memory of enjoying the ride) I've decided to write one blog post every day for the month of June. Just to see how it goes. Maybe some will be short and others long. Maybe it'll help with the writing. Maybe some of the posts will be good. Maybe I'll end up sharing a bunch of pictures of my cast. Maybe I'll write crap for thirty days in a row. (If so, this is my "sorry" in advance.) Maybe I'll realize I really do hate writing and I have nothing else to say. I hope that doesn't happen, but if it does, at least I know.

Whatever happens, I feel like I have to do this. If only to prove to myself that I can set a goal and fulfill it.

The rules are simple: One new blog post every day. It can be about anything. It just has to be new words I've written. I might write what's on my heart or mind. I might end up Googling "blog post ideas." (Hey, if you have any ideas you'd like to submit, please give me a shout on Twitter @lchapmanbooks.) I wanted to come up with some sort of cute name for this, but the best I could come up with is #junewriter. So, welcome to the #junewriter series, beginning tomorrow.

Thanks in advance for indulging me on this journey. Wish me luck.


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1 comment:

  1. Lauren (Case) CorreaMay 31, 2018 at 8:43 PM

    Laura! I wanted to share because it seemed like the right time... I’m honored to be an onlooker to your writing journey. You have inspired me to pursue writing in a more serious way in my lifetime, versus keeping it in mind as a “neat goal someday.” I so enjoy your Instagram posts about your process, and I’ve loved seeing what this might look like for me someday.

    I rejoined social media last year and was so proud to see what you had been up to since I last saw you at the Daily Nebraskan in another lifetime. I bought two of your books and loved them!! The style, the characters, the story arcs and themes throughout. For what’s its worth, I think you have a very raw talent that I would hate to see fizzle out because you’re not in the same magical place with writing you might have been in the beginning. I’d bet all the greats have experienced this feeling multiple times in their careers, but those who persist through it are the ones who are rewarded with never knowing defeat.

    I don’t mean to yell your praise from my soapbox, but I wanted to share some positive words with you (from a fan!), if they were able to help you in the slightest.

    Keep it up, girl! The world needs more characters like Bailey and Elliott! :)

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