To be a successful writer, we’re encouraged to do many things:
- Write every day.
- Study the craft.
- Read regularly, both in our genre and outside it.
- Build our platform.
- Maintain a blog.
- Participate in a critique group.
- Attend writing conferences.
The list goes on, and it overwhelms me. Though I do well at writing every day and blogging, I struggle to do the other items on a consistent basis. And this is when the rest of my life is in order. When something disrupts the rhythm of my life, it sorely disrupts the rhythm of my writing. Mostly I feel guilty over what I’m not doing to advance my writing career.
I’m in that season of disruption now. My wife and I are simultaneously selling our house, packing, and planning for the next one. To adjust, we’ve made many changes to our normal schedule. Everything that can be put on hold is on hold. I’ve even curtailed my daily writing routine and am struggling with blogging.
I share this for two reasons:
First, for the next three Saturdays, my posts will be different. They’ll be short and you will have the opportunity to finish them. I’m excited for what you will contribute.
Second, as writers we all go through these cycles, but we mostly keep the downtimes to ourselves. I think we need to talk about them and not pretend they don’t exist. Then we can encourage each other to press on and not give up.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.