Rough Day Writing is Still a Good Day

In terms of pages written, yesterday wasn’t my most dazzling day as an author.  I punched in plenty of hours and did lots of research, but I only managed to write one page.  I was tired – I never write well when I’m tired.  And the kids were squabbling – they’re still squabbling.  Twelve more sleeps to the first day of school.

Chapters 5 and 6 have turned into chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.  Deadline for the Percy Janes First Novel Award competition is 97 days away and I have roughly 12 chapters left to write.  I hate the word “hate,” so I’ll say only that I strongly dislike the countdown app on my iPhone.  It wigs me out.

This new career of mine doesn’t pay anything, requires me to work 14-hour days and keeps me awake at night thinking about plot holes, character motivation and the right way to hold a lance.

But you know what?  I love this job.  A bad day as an author is still infinitely better than a good day in “the circus” (as John le Carré so aptly called the federal bureaucracy).  For starters the coffee is better and I can work in my pajamas.  But mostly, there’s no approvals process.  I can make as many edits to my drafts as I want and I won’t have to wait three weeks for it to go through 10 layers of approvals because I changed “a” to “the.”  I can also write in the active voice now.  I feel quite the rebel creating characters that take responsibility for the things they’ve done – and for the most part, they do what I ask them.  I expect a union rep will call any day now and tell me that fighting dragons isn’t in my protagonist’s collective agreement.

I don’t have many bad days as an author, but when I do, I flip over to YouTube and search “advice for aspiring authors.”  Today I came across this interview with Alice Munro – I laughed the whole way through, and then got back to writing.

I hope it makes you smile too – regardless of what kind of day you’re having.