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The best writing advice ever

Hey, gang. Sorry for the MIA act over the last week and a half. Didn’t mean to leave you hanging, but life gets in the way sometimes. I know you come here to talk about The Job, and I’ll give you an update on how that’s going momentarily. Before I do, I wanted to impart some wisdom upon you.

Writing can be a number of things. Therapeutic, fun, relaxing, exciting…you get my point. But, it can also be something else that doesn’t sound so pleasant. Writing can become all consuming.

Each time you hit a goal it’s like a shot of some drug. Trust me, the first time I walked into a bookstore and picked up something that contained MY WORDS, I didn’t sleep for two days. It felt that good. Anyone who’s ever had too much caffeine will tell you that when you crash, you crash hard, and the type of jovial high I experienced was no different. As great as it is to see your words in print, the feeling doesn’t last.

You want to do it again. Each rejection you receive is like being denied that drug you want so badly, and if you don’t control you jones your mood can change, you can become despondent, other things in life begin to matter less. This is a bad place to be.

Here comes the best writing advice ever…

Live your life, don’t write your life.

I’ve been all over the emotional spectrum when it comes to putting words on paper, but what I’ve come to realize is reaching the next goal isn’t the same as reaching happiness. Things don’t always go your way in this business (in fact, they rarely do) but if you start hinging your emotional well-being, your needs, on how this industry reacts to you then you’ll soon be generating your own misery.

Thus, my hiatus from blogging this past week. I was living my life, and I may write about some of what I did one day. Probably not though. Some things you use to mine material, some things you use just to keep yourself sane. Know the difference, and know which is most important.

Now, The Job. As you know, I’m out on submission. And, I’m waiting. That’s all. Not the most exciting update, but there’s a lot of waiting in this business. I expect good news soon, though. When I hear something you all will be the first to know.

In the meantime my current novel is about 35% complete. This one’s been rough to write. Not for any emotional reasons, the words just feel thick in my brain. They’re coming out slow, like squeezing molasses through a pinhole. I will press on.

Next time folks, I’m going to talk to you about the various #litchat conversations happening over on Twitter. Good stuff that might be worth your time.

In the meantime, get away from the computer, take a walk, kiss your spouse. Live. If you can learn to get your high from the everyday stuff, then maybe you don’t ever have to come down.

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One Response to “The best writing advice ever”

  1. Karen Strong says:

    This is excellent advice. Putting your emotional health in the hands of the publishing industry is probably not wise.

    Good luck on your submissions and your current novel project.

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