life, observation, writing

When What Was Fun Becomes a Grind

Sometimes the things we love to do can become a grind. I’m sure this happens to all of us, but I want to give an example about what I mean from my life. It is about writing. Now I’m willing to bet that not a lot of people reading this are writers, but stick with me, and I bet you can relate. Just replace “writing” with something you love, and you can probably think of a time when you were in the same spot.

For a while now, I have been following this morning routine:

  • Submit my novella Maybe the Dream Knows What is Real to 10 book review sites
  • Reformat at least 5 pages of my novel The Humanitarian Murders so it displays properly on Amazon
  • Post a new blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

However, when I got up this morning, I realized I didn’t want to do any of these! Yet here I am, slogging through it, because I turned my reluctance to blog into the TOPIC of my blog. Clever, eh?

Well, it’s not clever enough. I still need to think a way out of this rut. It’s not that blogging itself is a chore or that I have already lost the fire to do it. In fact, I don’t think this lack of ambition is tied to the blogging part at all. This is related more to the formatting and submitting part.

When it comes to site submissions, I am almost done. I had a list of a whopping 630 book reviewer sites. Today, I just finished reaching out to numbers 531-540. However, the reformatting is what kills me.

Before I was working on the novel, I was reformatting my poetry collections. I have 30 of them, but I got bored working on them, so I decided to flip-flop between poetry and prose. How so? Easy:

  • Format 5 collections of poetry
  • Format a novel
  • Repeat

Sounds simple, right? I mean, the poetry collections are only about 30 pages each in MS Word, so I can tear through them. The snag came when I got to the first novel. Why? Well, because those are longer, and they have a LOT more words per page than poetry.

For now, I am going to stick to my plan, which is formatting and then releasing The Humanitarian Murders. I will also finish submitting to the remaining 90 blog sites. However, after that I don’t know what the plan is, and I need one. I’ve got  3 more novels and 12 more poetry collections to reformat, and then of course I have to go through the motions of submitting these to review sites. That is where I get one break: once I make it through the list, I can go back and remove any sites that are now defunct, or any that were duplicates, or that don’t accept my genre.

But enough about me.

I’d like to hear from YOU. Can you relate? Is there anything in your life that normally brings you boundless joy, but sometimes feels like a chore?

Leave a comment!

everyone, inspiration, life, procrastination, projects

The Path of Least Resistance

Okay, I woke up later than I meant to, so this is going to be short and sweet.

Sometimes in life you might find yourself in a situation where you have countless projects to complete, and a limited window of time in which to do them. For example, every morning I like to:

  • Write a new blog
  • Submit one of my stories to 10 websites for reviews
  • Format at least 5 pages of a poetry collection for Amazon

However, today I don’t have enough time to do all these, so how do I decide which one to do?

That’s easy: whichever comes naturally.

If a project feels like a grind, then I stop doing it. Why? Because if I don’t, then I know I will keep thinking to myself, “Man, this is a drag. I really don’t want to do this right now. There are so many other things I need to get done.” These thoughts will slow me down, not just because of the time I waste thinking them, but they will actually make me take longer to complete the task that I don’t feel like doing.

This isn’t just a writer’s problem. You might have several DIY projects you want to do around the house: put up new shelves, rearrange the living room, organize a closet better, and so on.

My advice still applies. Pick the the project that feels like fun (or the closest thing to it) and do that first.