But when it's finally time to write, we end up being very creative in finding other things to do. We don't want to sit down and make our brain force out the words, because it's no longer a dream.
Writing involves TWO wildly different jobs: allowing your heart to fantasize, while persuading your brain to do the heavy lifting. This means you are not only the employee, you are the boss.
Boss You: "I see that you've played ten games of solitaire and sent
200 tweets this morning. Good job. We couldn't be more proud of you. Well,
actually we could. We'd like to see, at a minimum, a thousand words added to
the WIP today. You get to choose when that happens. Even better, YOU get to
choose which words you add. Let me know if I can do anything to help you out
with this project."
Employee You: "Thanks. I'm good. This is a piece of cake for me."
(Eight hours later) "Crap! I haven't done anything today. The boss is
gonna kill me. Oh wait, I'm the boss. Well, I guess I could double up tomorrow. That's what I said yesterday though. Maybe I should call in sick. *coughs* After I tell my Twitter friends about this scratchy throat I've got. . ."
Boss You: "I've got to talk to HR and see how to fire them. Er, me.
This isn't at all like I dreamed it would be."
Now your "dream job" sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?
Here are a few suggestions to help you be Employee of the Month in no time:
1. Be realistic – It's easier to dream about writing. We all want the acclaim, the adulation, the accolades. There's nothing wrong with that. A lot of people who dream of writing a book someday are probably motivated more by those "a" words than anything else. But for others, writing means scratching out the words no matter what, even if the books never hit the bookshelves, let alone bestseller lists. Decide if writing is a dream, or a dream job, and go from there, without guilt or regrets.
2. Be mindful of the dream – Remember, this is what you want to do. Nobody is forcing you to write. Even if your "boss" is standing over you, tapping their foot while you blithely try to close out fourteen browser windows. . .this is your dream. You want your books to be read and enjoyed by lots of readers. How will that happen if you aren't writing your stories down? Maybe oral storytelling will make a comeback, but until it does, your books need to be written.
3. Be willing to work – When it's time to write, it's time to write. There are plenty of distractions, no matter where you work on your WIP, and writers are willing to explore every single one of them in the name of "research". Set a minimum word count, or a minimum amount of time, such as an hour, where nothing but writing is done. It's amazing how inspired you feel when that's been accomplished. Don't be surprised when you want to do even more writing afterwards.
Now it's your turn. Give me some of your helpful tricks for handling the challenging writer employee that you can be. What works best for you?