The other you

I wrote my first novel in 2010. It was the year when a lot of people lost their jobs. I worked for Lockheed Martin at that time, a company that relied on government contracts more than anything else. The government was trying to cut the expenses, the contractors were the first to suffer. Lockheed Martin closed many offices that year, including the office where I worked. I was OK with that. It’s been long seven years. I was tired. I needed a break. Plus, it was the end of October and I was planning to participate in my first Nanowrimo while looking for another job.
I finished my first novel in a month. I had my 50+K words by midnight of 30th of November. I was proud. I wanted the world to see it. I spend the next year (while working full-time again) improving the novel. I hired a professional editor. I Kindle-published it. I hired a narrator and made it into an audiobook. A year later I’ve read the novel again. It was garbage. I removed it from Amazon and Audible. And I started working on my second novel “Siberia”. It was 2012.
It’s June of 2018 now. I am half-done with my first book of the series. I am working on the second part of the first book (I have the rough draft for all three books, but it needs a lot of rewriting). I am taking it slow this time. Six years feel like a lifetime, and no time at all. I have learned a lot in the process and unlearned even more.
I started this blog knowing that there are a lot of people like me, who want to write and struggle to find the time and motivation. Struggle to walk into the writing space after a long day in the office and continue the story. Because the other you resist the thought of another mental match against the world that is not fair by any standard. The other you want to have a nice dinner with the family or friends, then implant your butt in the recliner and turn on Netflix. Or just read a book the other you waited to read all day. You can’t yell at the other you, you can’t demand impossible things from the other you. It will not get you far. Trust me, I tried.
There are a lot of blogs for aspiring writers written by aspiring writers. They are full of recommendations and offer solutions that work for a while. And then stop working. Have you wondered why is that? I had six years to figure it out. Those solutions are what works for people who suggested them. Those solutions became a part of their system. And they are not a part of your system. And while you reading the recommendations, trying these new things, incorporating these solutions into your creative process, and giving up time after time, it doesn’t mean that they don’t work. They just don’t work for you.
This will sound insane, but in the end, you will have to find your own things that keep you going, your own things that motivate you. They will become your system. It’s a long process of trying and failing, but you will have to build your own system that works for you. You will adjust it when necessary. And you will perfect it. It doesn’t matter if those things are as silly as angrily throwing potatoes into the wall, or smearing dirt on your face. Whatever works for you as long it gets you into your writing room.


One Comment Add yours

  1. librepaley8 says:

    Recognise a lot in this, writing around a full-time job, kids etc, keeping motivated. Agree that ‘what work’s can be very personal. Understanding there isn’t “a way’ is a relief. Some things come about from necessity. Is checking something over on the train ideal? No, but when else?


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