My Not-So-Glamorous Writing Life
"So... what else do you do other than read and write?" my friend asked me with a laugh.
I laughed along with her. "Nothing!"
Over the weekend I had a rare night out with some friends. It was ladies night at her jewelry store and we got to peruse and try on jewelry we would never be able to afford. We looked through their book of charms to see if there were any that matched my interests and hobbies. Of course, the first things that came to mind where books and writing. It was hard for me to think of other things I enjoy and do that could be portrayed in a charm.
Now, I do have more interests than books. I love my dog, coffee, theatre, etc. But most of the time, all I do once I get home from work is read and write. Then on my days off, beyond my day-to-day errands, I spend it reading and writing. I don't even get out to go write at a coffee shop or something often these days.
Quite frankly, the life of someone aspiring to be a published author isn't all that glamorous or exciting. In fact, I've been told that even when you are published, life isn't glamorous or exciting. I was listening to Mindy McGinnis' podcast, Writer Writer Pants on Fire, one day, and she shared about the day she got her agent. (Or maybe it was when her book sold, I can't remember which.) She said that she got the phone call and she was so excited!
Then she had to go change her cat's litter box.
So glamorous and exciting, right?
I peruse Instagram everyday, and I see other bloggers and writers showing off their photos. They're traveling! Going to coffee shops! Finding the cutest little boutique! Eating ice cream in the sunshine! Showing off their new book covers! Life! Is! So! Great!
My life looks nothing like this.
Now, I'm fully aware that these photos are staged and intentionally made in a way to showcase the highlights. Most of these people's day to day isn't like this at all. But I take a look around and I think "I don't even have something I can manipulate into a pretty picture to make you think my life is super Instagram and blog-worthy."
I mean, there's only so many ways I can take a photo of my keyboard and coffee mug.
As much as we like to aspire to the dream of being a super glamourous writer who takes their laptops to adorable coffee shops, typing away with grand and beautiful ideas, gasp-worthy plot points, dreaming up swoony love scenes, and heart-wrenching moments to make you cry and the perfect writing music is playing in the background, this just isn't how it is.
My writing routine mainly consists of this:
- Staring at my computer screen
- Searching Spotify because I can't decide what music I'm in the mood for
- Staring at the pictures on my wall
- Typing a few words then deleting them, writing words, deleting them again, etc.
- Pacing my bedroom until I can get inspiration or the one word I'm searching for comes to me
- Flipping through my notebook cause I can't remember what I named a certain kingdom
- Scrolling through Pinterest because I just CAN'T write until I have the perfect model to inspire me for a character
- Searching the kitchen for a snack
- Replying to messages from my writing group
- Telling my dog to get off my lap so I can type
- Getting a couple of paragraphs done
So, when people ask me how the book is going, or what's new in my life... I'm at a loss for words. The book is going well, but I don't necessarily have anything to show for it right now. If I ever do, it's going to be several months. Maybe even years. As for what's new in my life, not a whole lot because supposedly my book is going well. When it's going well, that basically means I'm in my writing hole and don't emerge from it often.
Even if going well is me staring at the computer screen.
Earlier this year I was talking with a group of friends from church about my "work, go home, write, read, go to sleep, do it all again the next day" routine, it felt like one or two people kind of pitied me.
Which, I can see that. It is pretty boring, and I guess I can say that I'm in a "life rut."
But at the same time, I also know this is how it goes when it comes to completing a novel. It takes a long time, and it's not super exciting. Yes, I want to go out more. I want to see my friends more often. I want "adventure in the great wide somewhere" as Belle would sing. Part of who I am is getting out and being around people. The whole "I really am an extrovert" thing.
On the other hand, I'm learning to accept that this process isn't going to look exciting. Most of the time, it's going to appear to be pretty boring. That's just how it is.
Which, I struggle with sometimes. There are days I don't mind, and there are days where it does bother me. I'm not sure what the answer is though.
What about you? Do you find that you get stuck in a routine and unsure of how to get out of it? What aspects of your life do you find really boring? What do you think would surprise people about your day-to-day routine?
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