As October went by in a glimpse, I can at least say my productivity level has been satisfactory despite the necessary distraction, such as my dog in need of attention. You must be cruel if you can resist puppy eyes.
What I need to resist is procrastination, which is often caused by laziness. Usually, when the most important part has been written, you dread the editing, redrafting and structuring process. Still, you must give your brain a well-deserved break where you take a day off and read a book or revisit a completely different piece of writing.
In the last month, I’ve ventured into some complex non-fiction writing, which has required me to read and study intense research material. All for what? – A contest. For weeks I’d told myself to forget about it—that I wasn’t that good of a non-fiction writer. Essays have always haunted me since college. It’s the idea of expanding an essay summary into a full 40K book that just struck me as mad and a waste of time—like, how many people are going to participate? 500+?
I’m still participating—for myself. I’ve learned a great deal about Millennials and the economy, so at least I feel less dumb after all that reading and research. It’s easier seeing this as a learning curve where you improve your non-fiction writing skills and even try to view things from different angles. I was never fond of reading the news, except that I try to be as objective as I can now. Sometimes, it’s difficult not to get infuriated by them, but you can at least train your EQ. Meditation should facilitate it.
I only have a few paid months left to make use of my writing time, including fiction. In other words, I don’t remember the last time I’ve had so much time to write. So, I’m trying to be thankful and productive as much as possible.
Having also built a writer’s website (which I don’t know how to market yet), I can at least relax, knowing that this website exists. But only the future will tell whether it will benefit me.
The semi-autobiographical book that I am writing is coming along well. That’s the joy of writing semi-autobiographies because you’re writing about what you already know, so it flows naturally. The fun part is changing it and telling it differently, but the emotions remain the same, if not intensified. I know I said it was a romantic comedy. Still, having written 13K so far, I must say it’s actually not that easy to write romcoms. Especially if you go by the same principles as renowned romcom writers and realize—”that’s not me.” I’m currently writing it in chronological order, aware that the motivations will have to be strengthened to give the story a meaningful purpose. However, this book is liberating. I don’t need to research my life to write it, except for checking specific timelines in my journals. And it will bring me closer to my future memoir, for which I actually have zero inspiration so far. The difference between an autobiography and a memoir is that in a memoir, you only focus on one significant aspect in your life—that one motivation that had the greatest impact on you. I have no interest in writing a chronological autobiography because that already exists in 50 journals, started in 1991. I also blog enough about them to make you go away.
It feels good to be busy writing, especially challenging myself to participate in that contest with one purpose—to improve my writing.