Okay, so as you know, coming up with blog topics isn’t my strongest suit. Tonight, as my 7 year old sat next to me eating a day-old cinnamon roll, I looked at him and said, “What should I blog about tonight?” He quickly came up with a topic, as evidenced by the title of this blog. (Incidentally, Zutar is ruled by zombies.) He also picked the image for tonight.
And, I suppose, he hit the nail on the head.
I’ve been battling my own “invasion of the dragons” for the better part of a week now. Granted, I’m not a zombie, but sometimes I feel like one. There are plenty of times that I feel like my day job is turning me into a corporate zombie, though, and that I inhabit a different planet, living off in my own world somewhere. (Hopefully it is not also inhabited by corporate zombies.)
No, my dragon invasion is really a species of dragons known as “the distraction dragons.” I sit down every day in my office, open my laptop, and immediately get to work…checking Facebook, Twitter, my blog, my email, and more. Then I finally open Scrivener and prepare to write. I re-read what I wrote last, so I can pick up where I left off. And then I go check Facebook and Twitter one last time.
Eventually, I start writing. After I get a paragraph or two, I think it’s time for a reward. More checking social media.
But then eventually I get a good writing rhythm going, and soon enough I’ve written a few hundred words. I stop to look something up and notice there’s a little (1) (or more) in each of my social media tabs. Well I can’t just let the notifications go. I have to check them. Right?
My dear writing friends tell me I need to disconnect my internet.
“No,” I gasp. “I can’t do that. That’s just too drastic!”
Truth be told, they’re probably right. (They usually are.)
I can’t say that’s what I’m going to do, but it’s definitely on the table as far as things I’m considering go.
Typically, after a good 45 minutes of this, I look at the clock and give up.
“Well,” I say to myself, “I’m not going to get any more writing done now, it’s much too late.” So I go watch the news for 20 or so minutes before I have to pack up and head to my day job.
Marie Cole sent me this quote yesterday:
“Work is work. It’s okay for writing to be hard work sometimes. That doesn’t make it “wrong” or “off.” You want what you want (to be successful, to tell stories, to write books, to make money, whatever you want) and if you really want those things, then you have to put in the work. As long as you’re committed to the process of being a professional writer, you’re going to be willing to put in the work.” -R. L. Syme, Write Better Faster Class
She’s right. I need to conquer my dragons, and put in the work.
Truly, my goal is to have the second in the Young Spades series (this would be Liam and Jack’s story) drafted by the end of March, at the latest. That will give me some time to edit it before moving on to book 3, which will be Trick’s story (I haven’t found a love interest for him yet, but rest assured, it will happen). Trick is short for Patrick, by the way. This series has a fondness for people with nicknames – Ari, Jack, and Trick all have given names they don’t use.
I really want to have the first in the Young Spades series, Pulling Strings (Shane and Ari) ready for publication for September. It’s almost March now. Six months to get Pulling Strings edited professionally and two more books from 0 to 100 isn’t much. I will have to send my attack zombies out to slay the dragons, and hope that my writing-zombies can work faster than I imagine “real” zombies would. I can do this. Right?
I also need to start hoping and praying that if my 7 year old asks what happened to the zombies of Zutar in their battle against the dragons, I’ll be able to come up with something good in a hurry. Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for the zombie-dragon battle I’ll need to concoct.