Nobody will read this

For whatever reason, the most hits I get on this blog is about 25. It’s frustrating, because it’s nice to write, but it’s better to be read. I’ve seen sites where someone posts a pic of a bird and a pun and they have a shit ton of readers.

Facebook limits the exposure you get too. Traffic is very low from Facebook, unless you pay for a boost. It’s a gimmick. The boosts don’t work.

Lately to me, Facebook is frustrating. It’s a waste of time. Same with Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. I have a lot of work to do, and I’ve been using social media as a convenient excuse to avoid it. Why? Because the book scares the hell out of me. It’s so much. And I’m closing in on the first draft and I know I’ve just got upwards of five more drafts once it is done.

Imagine painting your ceiling with two 1/2″ artist brushes and you’ll see what a first draft is. Because once it’s done, you have to do it all over again.

Today I sat in a hot springs and had a long meditative afternoon with myself. I’m getting in my own way and after thinking through all the turmoil in my life right now, some things fell into place. I have a story to finish. Self care is crucial. So is just sitting in your feelings and working through them. Time for another chapter.

The book is demanding to be written right now, which means I’m not going to be on social media if I can help it. I might not even be sleeping all that much. I’m going to listen to the story and make sure it is true and told with conviction, honesty, and love.

Not that I will be missed on social media.

Such weight

Last night was a big night for writing. I got 3500 words (maybe more) down in the book. I also finished reading a resource for the travel blog and by the time I passed out at around 2am, I was ready to start the whole thing over again today, bright and early.

The crazy thing about writing, for me at least, is how when you are in it, you don’t want to stop. It’s like a runner’s high almost. The words just flow. But as I sit here this morning, with a kernel of an idea in my mind, there is that resistance that I have to overcome. That piece that says what I’m going to write is going to be garbage and I’m just making more work for myself, or worse yet, wasting my time.

Steven Pressfield goes on about this at length in his books. He calls Resistance the one true evil force in this world, and you know, I think he is right. But it’s more than Resistance, it’s a weight you feel. For me, I have the weight of writing the book and also the weight of getting out there and marketing myself for freelance gigs, travel writing, and pitching places to visit. I also have a few more books I need to read. That alone is tough, since for most of my life, reading has always been a sign that you don’t have anything better to do.

Even in college it was hard to escape that feeling. What? You want me to read 1000 pages by the end of the week? Yes, I know I’m an English major, but I’ve got stuff to do. Work. Other classes. Parties. I just don’t have time. Even though the entire point of some of my classes were to read the books they gave us, more often than not I found myself falling asleep as I read them, or just faking it in discussion the next day and getting decent grades anyway. So when I tell myself that part of my job as a writer is to also READ, it’s often very hard. It just doesn’t feel like work. It feels like screwing around.

Also, my kid and my dog take strong positions against my just sitting there quietly reading when I should be entertaining them.

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day and if I do what I want at that moment, such as today, which is to work on the book, I feel like it’s Wednesday and then I get this moment of panic that says the week is burning off and I need to send out some more queries or pitches. Those take more brain power than writing the book, if you can believe that. As does writing copy for companies.

Resistance is one thing, but sometimes it feels like I’m trying to push too many cows through the chute at once. Then it’s hard to get any one thing accomplished. Working for yourself is much different than sitting on your ass at a desk all day, waiting for someone to drop an assignment on your lap and throwing an arbitrary deadline at you while they bugger off to Thailand or something.

I don’t miss that one bit, but sometimes it’s a little unnerving to think that I have to work twice as hard if I want to be my own boss.

So, today I’m going to do what I can. I’ll start off with what I’m inspired to do and then work in the stuff I have to do later when the creative process is still warmed up.