How Writing Doesn't Happen

What to do (or not do) when procrastination strikes

Please excuse the old comic. I don’t have a better option for today. I should really go back and redraw all those old comics in the new style. Maybe someday.

Today I have to call people. I hate calling people. Even people I know. Even ones I love and haven’t talked to in ages. Using the phone is just a pain. I don’t know why, I don’t understand it. The only thing I hate more than calling someone is getting a phone call (unless it’s from you, of course). But I have to make calls today. I have to make calls to my various doctors’ offices to let them know my insurance has changed. Then I need to identify which urgent care center will take my insurance and confirm that my local Publix has all my info.

Then I won’t have any choice. I’ll have to start the writing part of my day.

See my day is divided into two sections: Non-profit work and writing work. The non-profit work can include all manner of non-profit-related items, including stuff for my non-profit William’s House as well as my clients as a freelance grant-writer. The writing section of my day likewise includes all the reading I do to stay abreast of market trends, training videos, submitting materials for publication, reading and filing rejection letters, and reading all the stuff I’ve offered to beta-read for others. Somewhere in there, I need to work on a short story too.

And I don’t want to do any of it.

What I really want to to do is sit in bed with a cup of coffee and some Cheetos and watch “Adventure Time” until it gets dark out.

But that’s not productive and won’t really fulfill me.

Why is it the things that are fulfilling are so hard to do? Why do we love to procrastinate on the really important things? Seems odd.

This past week has been very active. I’ve finished that one short story that was giving me so much trouble. It draws a lot on my own lived experience. It’s very down-to-earth, slice-of-life mainstream fiction. Boring, in other words. People will probably love it. I also managed to submit Bubblegum-Man to a few small comics publishers. So far, I’ve got two rejections out of four submissions. Waiting on the last two before deciding whether to pull the trigger on self-publishing the thing. One of the publishers actually suggested self-publishing as a viable option for me. I thought that was very kind.

On the book front, I’ve submitted to a few new agents and one small press. The one I really wanted to submit to doesn’t do YA, so that’s kind of a bummer. Still waiting to hear back from a bunch of agents, but I think their silence may be my answer. If this sounds like a gripe, it isn’t. I knew going in that Tang of Fate would be a tough sell. The demand for high fantasy in a western European-style setting is lower nowadays. It’s not a great time to publish a Tolkien clone, even if I try to emulate David Gemmell more than Tolkien. That’s not to say Tang of Fate is unoriginal. Of course, there’s plenty of my own spin on the familiar tropes. But that’s the problem. Just USING the familiar tropes can be enough to be discounted. It’s no one’s fault. That’s just where the market is right now. It’ll swing back. Maybe.

Anyway, for now I really need to make these calls. Publix is saying they can’t get the doctor to fill one of my prescriptions. A writer’s job is never done.