Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

Productivity Concerns

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I haven’t blogged about writing in awhile. I probably owe the world a report on what I’m writing these days. There might be someone out there who is an even less world-famous author than I am, someone one rung farther down on the literary ladder, who reads my blog thinking, “What is the life of a Real Published Author like?” For this person, if he/she exists, I feel duty bound to report from time to time on the state of The Writing Life around these parts.

Sadly, there’s not a lot to report. In theory, teaching should be the ideal career for a writer because even if teaching saps a lot of my energy and creativity during the school year, I have all summer off in which to be massively productive. That’s the theory.

The reality? Well, yes, I do have a lot of free time over the summer. And despite the time I spend hanging out with my kids, taking them to the pool and the playground, etc., I do still have plenty of time that I could be writing, but … well, I got a score of 1.5 million on Bookworm the other day … does that tell you anything about how productive I am being?

I have two freelance projects to complete before we go on vacation at the end of July, and my main project for the summer is supposed to be getting a draft of the Philippi novel ready to submit to Review and Herald in the fall. I did manage to move a little bit forward on the freelance work while the kids were at Vacation Bible School during the mornings this week, and one morning Tina and I met for a write-in at Chapters where I got a teensy bit of work done on the novel. Other than that … well, racking up the massive Bookworm scores, surfing the web, and re-reading all the Harry Potter books in preparation for the release of the final book next week … yes, those have been my literary accomplishments.

I’m hoping a burst of afflatus (no, that’s not like flatulence; look it up!) will descend upon me in the next week and a half so I get a powerful lot of writing done before shifting into Serious Vacation Mode. But the fact is, though I’m still sleeping in my own bed, I am already in vacation mode: my brain is simply not geared up to work during the summer. Which doesn’t fit too well with the theory about why teaching is such a great career for writers.

Maybe it’s just me. But one thing I’ve noticed about this Writing Life … most writers I know seem to spend an inordinate amount of time at two activities:

1. Not writing, and

2. Beating themselves up about not writing.

But man, are we good at Bookworm!!


One thought on “Productivity Concerns

  1. Me! Me! (Unpublished author wondering what the life of a real author is like)

    I think it’s a myth that teachers have three months “free.” Truth is, teachers do 12-months of work in 9 months, then spend three months frantically trying to get in 12-months-worth of relaxing and fun.

    I thought “Bookworm” was a new website that keeps track of how many books an author has published or sold. When I clicked on the link, I couldn’t understand why I went to Popcap, and thought I had picked up a virus. Then I caught on. And, man! That’s a killer score! (she says, admiringly)

    Finally, “afflatus.” ROFL. I want to know what the verb form is.

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