For instance, last week I made plans to physically leave my house for 2 hours on two different days so I could write. I should have turned off my phone. But I didn't. I ended up using half of my writing time to work on preparedness fair stuff because of incoming phone calls. Now, this is something else important in my life right now, and it has to be done, but other professionals know how to block out their time and stick to a plan. I need to learn how to do this.
Then there is my family and friends. I love them. So when one of them says, "Hey, let's go do (fill in the blank)" I drop everything and that's what we do. Most of my family now lives near me so my week can fill up quickly with different invitations. I don't want anyone to feel like my writing is more important than them, but I need to learn to say "sure, but can we do it after 11:00" or maybe a different day, or something.
My need for everyone to be happy with me is killing my writing time and putting me farther behind on my goals. Eleena's story should have been finished a month ago and handed to beta readers by now. It still needs an ending. I made some progress, but it isn't finished. It NEEDS to be finished now if I have any hope of publishing it by Christmas.
Pray for me? I'm starting to think that's my only hope. The good news is school starts in two weeks and that will mean less running around during the day. That should give me time to sit and get my two hours of writing in EVERY DAY. With that, I should be able to finish quickly. Then I'll have to hope my beta readers are availble to read and comment quickly so I can start revisions.
Everything just takes so much time!
I'm sorry to vent so much this month. When I don't get good writing time in, and when I feel like my goals are being thwarted, I get cranky and negative. Here's hoping I'm in a much better mood by September.
The August question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
Don't worry about following all the rules or trying to make everyone happy. I did that. In the early days, I tried to shape my story to make every critique partner happy. It took a while to learn that as a writer, you will never be able to make every reader happy. When people read your story they will get different things out of it because we all have different experiences that shape our perspective.
The fix for this is to make yourself happy with the story. Look at the comments from your early readers and ask, "will a change here make MY story better?" If not, move on and throw that comment away. Sometimes a comment can show you where a weakness lies in your plot that needs to be fixed even if it isn't in the way suggested by the critiquer. Be willing to see that and take the steps necessary. So, keep an open mind, but keep your story and goals your own as you sift through each piece of advice.