A Writer’s Obsession(s)

Whether a writer or not, we all have our obsessions. Here are my top three:

  1. Striving to be a better writer
  2. Giving self-rewards
  3. Balancing writing with “real life”

The ways to strive to become a better writer is first of all read; read within the genre you write and read without. You may also watch; while watching shows, dissect plot or character inconsistences so you won’t. Watch Korean dramas (e.g., W – Two Worlds, or Goblin) to catch unexpected plot twists and characters who pull you out of this world and straight into theirs.

There are writers conferences, books, courses, webinars, writer support organizations (like SCBWI, RWA, NaNoWriMo, etc.), and critique groups. Go to them, join them. Learn, grow, read, make connections.

Of course, to become a better writer, the absolutely top thing to do is to write. A lot.

Giving self-rewards works for many writers. You may write to a word count or within a time frame or have a goal by a certain date. When you reach major goals (e.g., finished with first draft, or ready to send to agent, etc.), treat yourself to a rare and special treat for this milestone.

Balancing writing with “real life” is the trickiest. There may be obligatory events, which you do want to attend, but which take you away from writing, like with school or church or work. There may be children or aging relatives to attend to. Or when the grass climbs to knee-high, you run out of clean dishes to eat off of, or your editor returns your manuscript for edits the night before your vacation, saying she needs it back within the week (true story for me)…you need balance, and wisdom. Prioritize, but do not ignore the most important things to you. (For me, family trumps all, even writing.

Become a better writer. Reach for your goals. Balance your writing with real life.

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5 thoughts on “A Writer’s Obsession(s)

  1. Edits due while you’re on vacation — that happened to me, too. It was crazy. I had to find a FedEx in Oklahoma, on our route and open late enough for us to get there. Ultimately I failed. The package went out the next day from Dallas. You do your best. And then you move on, and keep doing your best…

  2. Wonderful post, Sandy with important points. I would be out of luck if edits were due before a vacation. I’d have to say, “Too bad.” and send them out when I could. This may happen to me this year and my publisher will just have to wait. We are going to Eastern Europe for two weeks. No way of editing then.

    • Thanks for posting, Susan. I really hope you get your edits done before or after vacation. Doing them during vacation really is horrid. Glad you would be able to say, “Too bad.” I didn’t feel like I was about to. Best to you.

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