Monday, June 25, 2007

Top 10 Distractions That Are Keeping Me From Writing - Lindquist

It’s my turn to blog and I have absolutely nothing to say.

Let me rephrase that. I have absolutely nothing to say that anyone would want to hear.

In fact, everything I might say at the moment would be totally depressing and negative.

It’s been one of those weeks.

I find when I’ve been busy for a while (read “overdone it”) and I get tired (read “absolutely exhausted”), I tend to move into a state of semi-depression (read “burnout”). All of a sudden, the liquid in the glass, which is normally neither half-full nor half-empty, but just enough, moves definitely to the meagre side, and the rose-tinted glasses have a decidedly blue cast.

Some of it is the afore-mentioned overdoing it and tiredness; but part, I think, is the confusion of this busy world and a lack of control on my part. And the inability to be doing what I really want to do – write a great book.

Top ten things that are out of control for me this week and explain why I can’t write anything:

10. We’ve discovered the company we thought was going to help us develop a great marketing plan for my book this fall doesn’t seem to have one. Not one that we can put our hearts behind, anyway. Maybe we were expecting too much. Not sure. Anyway, it’s depressing since we still need to find a way to move these books!

9. Son number 3 is camping in Peru somewhere with a couple of other people whose names I don’t know. We’ve had one email that said he arrived and the ceviche was good. (It’s some kind of fish with a lemony sauce.) We think he’s coming home on Thursday. We hope. (Note: son number three is a great person, very responsible, and all that. But usually they go to Muskoka…)

8. Son number 4 got back at 4:30 AM this morning from Boston. He drove down Friday night with a couple of other guys to play in an ultimate frisbee tournament. Well, a big tournament. And they won. Which is nice. But driving from Toronto to Boston and back to play in a weekend tournament…. I used to think a two hour drive was a lot…

7. I read several books this week, one of which wasn’t very good. My mind went, “I can do better than this! But then I looked at the reviews. “What am I missing? Why did it get such great reviews?”

6. Then I started a really well-written book, and went, “Why bother trying to write anything when there are already writers like this?”

5. I’m on several listservs, which I try to read, though I don’t often post. What I want to know is this: How come everyone else has editors, agents and contracts just falling out of the blue for them? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I know the right people?

4. I emailed another writer and asked it she wanted to talk. She replied that she was wondering why she ever tried to write in the first place. I totally agreed with her (meaning me, not her.) We decided we need to talk. Maybe two negatives can make one positive?

3. Son number 2 just told me he’s going to Alaska for his holidays. "Alaska? What do you know about Alaska? Who do you know in Alaska? Why didn’t you go to Peru with your brother?"

2. Last Monday, my new book was actually up in the 100,000s on Amazon. Why, I don’t know. They must have sold a few copies. Excitement. But since then, every day it’s dropped, and is now at 600,000 something. Oh well. Maybe someday I’ll get one in the 10,000s. Can’t imagine being in the top 100 sellers. Okay, that’s really depressing. I can’t imagine how one would do that without a big-time publishing house behind you. And for that you need the agent, the editor, the whole bit. Or at least a plan for marketing. See number 10.

1. And the top reason I have nothing to write about? Every morning, I wake up with a different idea buzzing through my mind. Every newspaper I read, every song I hear, every person I talk to, every email I get…gives me more ideas until my brain is overwhelmed. Every idea is screaming “Me, Me, Me!” until I have to cover my ears and my mind and either fall asleep or escape into a really good book (see reasons 7 and 8).

Hmm. the really good book I want to escape into is the one I'm supposed to be writing. Except I’m having trouble finding anything to write about just now…


Belinda said...

Wow, NJ, did you forget to look around you at the results of your obedience to God's call? You're looking for the success of a book (understandably, of course) but you've been a key instrument in creating community for a flock of writers who would be wandering by themselves in the wilderness if you hadn't been faithful to answer--or perhaps they would never have dared call themselves writers.

What you and Wendy have accomplished will never fully be seen this side of heaven--but even on this side it looks pretty big to me! :)

I love you and am so grateful for your shepherding of all of us.

I feel privileged to know you and be under the umbrella of your leadership in TWG.

Of course you're tired and worn out. The enemy--arch discourager that he is--is at his work.

Take heart. Would you really trade the inestimable treasure of what you've accomplished for the mere success of a book?

You can tell me to shut up if I'm irritating you!

violet said...

Ditto what Belinda said (though I must admit it's comforting to know that someone who looks so accomplished and seems to have it so together actually struggles with many of the same things I do).

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