Being a Writer Is Like Being a Mom
here. Yeah, yeah. I know. As my mom would say, there’s a lot about this movie that is in poor taste. But one minute into the trailer, the scene at the PTG meeting when they are given the list of “don’t do its” for the bake sale? Oh, yeah. If you’re a mom, you’ve been there.
Heck, if you’re a writer, you’ve been there. Being a writer really is a lot like being a mom.
First and foremost, there’s all the advice that people pass out for free. “If you mess up on social media, you’ll destroy your career!” “If you aren’t a vital part of social media, you won’t even have a career!”
Second, everyone has an opinion. I am truly amazed by the number of people, non-writers in particular, who have an opinion about my writing. My favorite? “If you were more efficient, you didn’t write so many drafts, you’d get things done a lot faster. Why don’t you just do it right the first time?” If only there hadn’t been witnesses standing around…
Third, the demands on your time are absolutely insane. You have to squeeze in writing, reading about writing, and reading what you want to write. You should also take part in social media so that you have a platform and a market. That means blogging (writing your own and commenting on others), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. And don’t forget about promotion. Did you find time to brush your teeth today? Then you must have forgotten to do something else.
Fourth, even when you work ahead and you have a careful plan so that you can take a day off – bam! Guess who got a rewrite request on a book right before Mother’s Day weekend? And he wants it back Monday? That’s right – this writer. I said yes but not before verifying that he only wanted me to change 6 things and 3 of them are really minor.
As a writer, how do you handle it all? You set limits. Do it before someone pushes you too far. This means saying yes to what makes sense for your career. As a writer, you need to write. The rest? Its gravy – good but not nearly as essential as writing. It really is okay to blow some of it off.