About ten months ago a friend and I decided we should each try to write a novel. We made solemn promise to each other to really do it, not just talk about it. We might have pinky sweared, but I don't think there was any spit or blood involved. We both started writing this past summer, when we were done teaching classes. My friend Stephanie is working on finishing the second half of her first novel only months later. I'm super proud of her. She is much a woman.
Not to brag (and yet watch me do it anyway), but just this past weekend I finished the last chapter of the first half of my second novel. Confused yet? That is, I have already written my first novel, re-wrote it, edited it, and it's out at Beta Readers right now. In the mean time I started on my second novel and I'm half done. I've done all that, finished a 4 volume, one million word encyclopedia and taught classes at two universities. Mind you, like many professors, I had the summer off from class, though I was not off from laundry, meal prep, parenting and that darn encyclopedia.
My original plan was to write the first novel last summer, edit over the school year and write the second novel this coming summer. So I'm way ahead of my original plan. Oh, did I mention I have 6 dogs, 7 tortoises and a husband and kid? I hear you ask, "How do you do Peg? You must be some kind of model woman!"
Well, I am (she said modestly). But you know that Super Bowl party you went to? The movies you've been to this past year? The television shows you watched? The spa days? I didn't do any of that. I write when I get home from work. I write between classes. I write on the weekends. Last Sunday, when a great bulk of Americans were watching the Super Bowl, including my family and in-laws, I stayed home and finished that last chapter of the first half of my second book. Oh, I went over to my friend Tom and Anna's house for a little while around half-time, but I didn't drink and I didn't recognize any of the half-time acts because I never watch TV. I came home after an hour and wrote. It was weirdly fun. I see you out there-- you think I'm a freak. YEP!
All writers are freaks. If you want to be a writer you have to embrace your inner freak. You have to quit wasting your time on stupid stuff and write. I'm not saying never have any fun, but maybe writing the last chapter of the first half of your second novel is as fun as eating your 17th chicken wing with in-laws. Watching OTHER people do things on TV while your life passes you by (because eating chicken wings and watching football is NOT a life-- I don't care what they told you) is soul crushing.
So put down those chicken wings. Turn off that TV. And don't even get me started on the time wasted on "smart phones." Go write. Or whatever your dream is-- go do that. Cause no one ever laid on their deathbed and said, "I wish I'd watched more TV and eaten more chicken wings." Well . . . no one interesting anyway.