J.A. Konrath has another great blog post up. (I know I link to his blog a lot, but what can I say, the guy makes sense.) In his post “Brain-Check,” Konrath lists eight instructions for writing success. They’re all good (click the link to read), but No. 8 is perfect for those of us who aren’t writing full-time, who are balancing work and writing and trying to keep our momentum amid other obligations. No. 8 says: “Bust Your Ass: If you aren’t driven to succeed, you probably won’t. How bad do you want this? If the answer is: really bad, then you have to prioritize accordingly.”
This reminded me of one of my earliest posts on this blog, Making The Time. Konrath is right. If your passion is to write, you have to write. If you want to be a successful writer — a full-time writer — you have to write, and that might mean (at least, for me it does) getting up at 6 to fit in writing time around the other stuff in your life.
Coincidentally, today I got an email letting me know of a message someone had posted on a thread on the SCBWI message board. You have to be a member to get in (but you should still check out the website if you’re a children’s writer), but the thread was started by a new mother who was saying her muse was gone and she didn’t have the same desire to write that she used to. The new post was from another mom, who advised that when she adopted her children, she didn’t feel like writing and took time off to just be a mom — nothing wrong with that. But later, a story that had been formulating in her head 10 years ago popped back into her conscience and took over. The drive was so big that she got up early and wrote, wrote while her kids watched TV, wrote while they ate breakfast — wrote whenever she could. She said that some nights she would get five hours of sleep, and most days she went through the day feeling tired (I feel the same often — and I don’t have three children!). But the important thing for her was that she was writing.
And that’s basically the key: you have to Bust Your Ass.
Despite my encouragement to others on this blog to do just that, I have been slacking off lately. So, I’m making a renewed commitment to Bust My Ass. Who’s going to join me?