Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to nail down a series of tactics to help me become a better writer while also sitting in the seat of a dad who can spend most of his day lying on his back like a washed up squid on a beach who the other squid make fun of when they swim by for being too lazy.
I know the solution is usually just to dig deep and do the work, but when you’re burnt out, broken, tired, reeling from the day you’ve just had with your twin boys, that’s not easy. So, really, these Three Things are more for me to help cope than for anyone else in particular. To help me understand that it’s okay to let things to. To not be as free as some of those other single childless millennials online in their 30s, chasing their creative dreams all day.
That’s not my measuring stick. That’s not my power level.
So let’s get that out there. If I never sell a book become a famous author, have my stories licensed into TV and movie deals, see a graphic novel adaptation, secure a position in the pantheon of people’s minds as the preeminent middle-grade/young adult author of the next generation, then I’m fine. I have to be fine. Otherwise, this has all been a wasted journey.
It’s a bit broken, this ol’ journey of mine. Fragmented into pieces of real work separated by long stretches of figuring out to work. It’s been amplified more since the birth of my boys, so I can’t have it all. I can’t workout for 2 hours, write for 6, and have a job. Those days are gone. I need to focus on what could make me happy. Small, achievable tasks every week to help me get those books, you know, the thing I want to do, out the door and in the hands of agents faster.
So I’ve narrowed it down to 3 things:
- Workout for 15 minutes.
- Write at least 500 words a day.
- Query 1 agent a week.
I’ve got my 5BX plan, an aerobic system broke down over multiple levels to be done on 11 minutes, so that’s #1. Hurts starting at level 1, but so does every journey. Runs some endorphins through my mind, helps me feel less guilt about my snacking, and helps make me an in-shape papa.
500 words a day may not seem like a lot, but it’s more than I’ve been riding lately. If I can have a day where I can do more, obviously that would be better, but that should never be my purpose.
One agent per week. If I can do that, then I can get that sick failure demon off my shoulder, whispering in my ears I’m not chasing my dreams.
Three things. What are yours?
Thanks for reading,