Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Writer As Self-Employed

Okay, so I lied. I intended to post last night, but my Outreach International class had so many questions, it was after midnight before I answered them all. I just posted Lesson 2, and I'm hoping it will keep the students busy for a while.

There are twenty people in the class. In Lesson 1, I had them assess their strengths and weaknesses. By far, their chief concerns were lack of motivation and discipline.

I don't remember addressing that issue on this blog before.

Most of us have jobs where we're surrounded by infrastructure. We have bosses and co-workers who--by their very presence--bring accountability to us.

Writers need to think of themselves as being self-employed. Self-employed people need to be self-starters, able to motivate themselves without outside prodding. It can be tough; especially when the words aren't flowing.

I'm preaching the virtues of BICHOK: butt in chair, hands on keyboard. What worked for me was to have a specific place, a specific time and a specific goal for the number of words required. Rituals and expectations help substitute for bosses and co-workers.

Think of it as building up your muscles as a writer. It takes both practice and experience, but eventually when you put your butt in the chair, it becomes automatic for you to start writing.

One of the most prolific modern writers is romance writer Nora Roberts. She answered questions for readers in this week's Time here.

6 comments:

Church Lady said...

Amen. But it is harder around this time of year.

inherwritemind1 said...

BICHOK: my new mantra.

Hi, Maya.

Maya Reynolds said...

CL: I KNOW! Hard to stay focused.

Maya Reynolds said...

Hi, Tena:

Just for you, a link:

http://ninthmoon.com/detail.aspx?ID=217

Maya Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
inherwritemind1 said...

http://ninthmoon.com/detail.aspx?ID=217

LOVE it! Thanks, Maya.