DAY 65: Maintaining A Consistent Writing Schedule With Friends In Town Is A Lot Like Turning Down Dessert At A Wedding…Is That Even A Thing?

T.N. Williams My Noveldom Adventure, Writer's Trench 1 Comment

What. The. SHIT!?

My friend showed up at our place on June 12th for an extended visit (a visit I was privy to and thought I’d be able to work through) and ever since then I’ve struggled to write consistently for Snowe Storms, this blog, my social media accounts…et al.

It’s day 65 and I’m still only six chapters into my second draft. With a 90-day schedule looming over me, I’m beginning to wonder: have I bit off more than I can chew?

The thing about writing with a friend in town on a visit is…I don’t wanna

I know, I know.

But Tiffany, if you love what you do then it shouldn’t be work, it should be easy fun that you can’t wait to show up for!

And to some degree, that’s exactly what it is: work that I love. BUT (and this is a big but), I also love to enjoy my friends company when they’re in town and that means taking off three weeks to lounge, laugh, and love their presence.

I don’t wanna ignore her for six hours a day so I can get in my writing time! Instead, I want to enjoy every minute with her before she leaves and I don’t see her again for at least a year.

And so, despite what I know is best, I don’t force myself to write each day or show up online or write a new blog post more than once a week.

Nope.

Instead, I force myself to take it easy. To enjoy her presence. To remind myself that I can be productive on a lot of different levels that I never would’ve anticipated if I just keep an open mind.

But what about my 90-day deadline?!

You remember that blog post with the squirrels and how I set up deadlines that are unreasonable?

This is one of those moments.

I’ve known about this friend coming to town for the last three months and I still scheduled for myself to finish this book WITH HER IN TOWN…

Like…I know better. I really, REALLY know better.

But instead of doing better, I guilted myself into maintaining that deadline because I “enjoy” quick deadlines and I can’t wait to read my book when it’s done.

Hindsight, here’s what’s realistic: I can complete one chapter a day with her in the house. She is here for another 35 days. My book has something around 40 chapters and I have six already completed in draft #2.

HOWEVER, because the Universe is a right nasty wench, I have a second friend showing up during the last two week’s of friend #1’s visit, THUS…my expectations to finish 1 chapter a day significantly plummet when I have to host two buddies…

Realistically speaking, I can do this.

Honestly speaking, there’s a good chance I won’t 🙂

What’s my main setback? I’m not getting validation for my efforts…

There.

I said it.

It’s as true now as it was when I started this journey 1-year ago.

It’s super hard to show up for my novel when I’m not getting paid for it and I have no other validation that this is a worthy career move.

In that vein, when friend’s come to visit, it’s all too easy to justify falling off the writing train in lieu of quality hang-out time.

HOWEVER, for anyone else who’s siting in that same vein: every day we choose NOT to show up for our novel, is just another day we have to wait to receive the validation we so crave.

Were I getting paid for my writing, I’d be making the time every morning and night to clack out at least 2 chapter’s a day.

But since I’m not being paid for my efforts, or in any other way validated for my time, it’s easy for me to allow whole weeks to fly by without a single chapter written.

*SIGH* The life of an unpaid, unpublished, unacknowledged writer is quite the limbo…and since the limbo is just a way for men to peek down women’s shirts with a valid reason of “limbo,” I can safely state I’m not a fan.

This whole, “write because you love it” thing when you’re also trying to, eventually, make a living from it can be a tough draw.

Especially when more fun things come into your viewpoint, like friends.

I didn’t anticipate having any issue showing up for myself, even if it was only an hour in the morning instead of my typical six-hour writing spree.

But no matter.

I’ve got big things going on. BIG. And if I’m going to see them to fruition, I’ve got to figure out a way to be productive with my novel even when I’ve got to humor TWO friends at one time.

WISH ME ALL THE LUCK YOU CAN MUSTER!!!

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You are doing great! Timelines are going to rule your life when your published and everyone’s knocking at your door waiting on that next in the series. Enjoy the time you have now, take a deep breath and know you’ll be getting back to it with fresh eyes and is all part of the journey.