Written By Karen Hogan
I set myself the task of writing. There’s the novel, there’s the essay, there’s the blog, and the tweets.
Gotta get the first draft of the novel done or I’ll never get to the second draft. Gotta get an essay done ‘cause that might be easier to get published, which means that I can say I’m a published writer, which means that I will be taken more seriously when it comes to sending the novel out for multiple rounds of rejection. Gotta’ do the blog ’cause that builds my platform which means an agent will be more interested in me because, look! I already have an audience that adores me! Gotta get those tweets out ’cause it gets people to the blog which convinces the agent that I should be taken seriously, not only because I’ve had an essay published but I have this adoring public that is already lined up at the bookstore waiting for my novel to be released. Not to mention the rights to the movie circling for a landing.
Stop. Stop obsessing. Just get back to the writing. That’s what’s important. Write what I want to say.
I’ll write the blog and get that out of the way. But, wait, maybe the blog is taking me away from what I’m really supposed to be writing — the novel. Writing the blog is just another way of avoiding writing the novel.
Okay, the novel.
But, people will stop coming to the blog if I don’t post something.
Okay, the blog.
But, the novel. The characters are going to feel neglected if I don’t stay with them. This is really my life’s work. This novel.
Okay, the novel.
Maybe I can blog about the novel. Maybe writing the blog will help me with the characters. Maybe I can write the blog in the voice of one of the characters.
But then it changes the voice of my blog.
Blog. Novel. Blog. Novel. Blog. Novel.
And now it’s Thursday.
Writing might be one of the most ridiculous professions on the planet, if not the universe. So much of it lives up to the free in freelance. Starting pay is getting published. A friend of mine in the corporate writing world said I shouldn’t market myself as a writer because the corporate world looks at writing as something they can outsource to India.
It just got more ridiculous.
And yet, I believe. Writing is my dowsing tool. It’s what sustains me. It’s what makes me feel centered in my life. I can even feel that when I do technical or business writing. One just needs to get a bit more creative about that nagging food and shelter thing.
I don’t have the solution yet. But I’m working on it.
In the meantime, butt gets into chair. I started with this post. Next is writing for the 10,000 word day. I’ll use it to get started on a memoir about three women I knew and my search for mom. The connecting themes are: how do you find a Mother’s Day card for that, vibrators, and death
Wait, a memoir’s something new in the mix. That might actually make some money.
Oh, right. The novel. I won’t forget it.
Karen Hogan writes short stories, literary nonfiction, essays and poetry. She is currently working on her first novel. She has hosted a literary salon for the past seven years, a place where writers come to read their own writing and listen to others. She has published five anthologies that have come out of the salon. She has directed and performed in staged readings of short stories and The Vagina Monologues, and has appeared in The Diviners. As she wrote in a poem several years ago, Karen writes to make herself right with the world, to feel the truth that life is neither just, nor right, but a story unfolding in the order just right. You can read more of Karen’s work at the Writing Shed.