Morning, folks! (very early morning if you’re in the UK like me!) Today we’ve got Theodore Webb over with us for our ‘A Day In The Life Of…’ post, sharing a little about his day and some writing tips! Enjoy! 🙂
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…THEODORE WEBB
A day in the life of a writer equals a day in the life of a hard life. You can do almost anything else and make more money (that being said, it’s not about the money). Writers like me, particularly us “indie writers,” often cannot devote 100 percent of our time to writing.
As much as I would like to focus completely on writing, marketing and everything else required of an “indie writer,” I must continually find ways to pay my bills, which means picking up part-time jobs and so forth.
For me, there isn’t a “typical writing day.” I write whenever I can make it happen.
Being a writer also means being a reader, so you have to squeeze in your reading time too. I usually wake up around 8 a.m. I make a bowl of oatmeal, a pot of coffee, read current events, news, blogs and a book.
Then, when I’m fully awake, I work on a short story, a poem, a novel, a play, revising a piece, formatting a work to publish digitally, working on a cover, blogging on my website, http://www.theodorewebb.com, engaging on my social media, http://www.facebook.com/theodorewebbauthor or my Twitter, Theodore Webb @STARLINGCONNECT.
I have a few rules and suggestions which help me stay on track and complete projects. Here are five tips about the daily writing life, which I hope will also help you with your own writing:
1. Join a writing group or groups. I’m a member of the Morgantown Writers Group (MWG) that meets at the public library as well as the M.T. Pockets Theatre Company Playwrights Group. I’m also a founding member of Morgantown Poets. Between these three groups, I’m often at writers’ meetings several times a month on weekday evenings. These groups keep me busy, inspired and engaged. No one can truly do everything alone. It’s good to be social. If I get overly involved with my own writing or reading, I have a tendency to go too long without seeing people. I’m fortunate to live in a small town with a thriving and supportive writing community. My friends and fellow artists continually inspire me. They tell me what in my writing needs more work. They also help keep me from getting too much inside my own head.
2. Write something new for each group meeting. This is my personal rule for my participation in the groups with which I’m involved. Before every meeting, I must have new writing to share. For example, with the M.T. Pockets Playwrights Group, I must write a new scene before every meeting. With Morgantown Poets, I try to have at least three new poems to share at every event. Many writers give themselves deadlines. This is my way of holding to a deadline. It ensures that I’m always writing new work.
3. Promote your work. Writers wear many hats. “Shameless self-promotion,” as a friend of mine used to say, is one of those hats. Think about it. You labor for months or years on your novel. And the writing is good. But what good is it if no one knows about it? If you don’t promote your work, then people won’t be able to discover it. I’m continually amazed by how many authors labor to write books, but then do little to promote their books. For those authors who actively promote their books, the competition is stiffer than ever before. Have you looked on Twitter lately? If you’re following authors on social media, as I do, then you’ll notice every other Tweet amounts to “Buy my book!” I don’t think these particular kinds of Tweets are very effective, but I give props to those authors for elbowing their way in there and promoting the heck out of their work. They’re light years ahead of the author who does nothing to promote his book. You have to figure out a strategy for promoting your work. You may find that a fourth of your time or more is devoted to promoting your work while another fourth is engaging with readers and other writers.
4. Chaos is overrated. Organize. Saving time takes time. Schedule about 15 minutes each day to get better organized. Creativity may flourish in chaos for some folks, but it’s frustrating no matter who you are if you’re wasting an hour scrambling through that stack of papers looking for that short story you sketched out a month ago. That said, don’t be a perfectionist. Done is better than perfect. If you’re spending more time trying to organize everything, washing dishes, cleaning, mowing grass or any chore besides writing or promoting your writing, then, as a writer, you’re probably wasting even more time. I’m not saying to neglect your responsibilities, but you need to make sure other members of the family are pulling their weight too. Everyone should be respectful of your time and writing career. The whole family needs to work together for each member to be successful.
5. Don’t forget to exercise daily. You may ask, “How exactly does exercise connect with the writing lifestyle?” I often find I’m spending far too much time sitting behind the screen. We all need a break. As the old saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” I’m not necessarily talking about strenuous activity. In my 20s, I ran 10-milers. While running many miles can be aerobic, it can also put quite a bit of stress on your bones and joints, particularly if you run on pavement. Today I’m happy simply riding my bicycle a few miles on the rail trail. These bike rides relax me and bring peace to my mind. I often get new ideas or solve a problem with a character or plotline when I’m not thinking about writing. I recommend you find an outdoor activity that is enjoyable to you. It could be walking, swimming, jogging, a short hike in the woods, fishing; simply anything that you find fun. Ideally the activity should involve mild to moderate exercise to get your body and your creative juices moving.
Hope this post has shared some insights into a day in my writing life and also given you a few tips that you may find helpful in your own career in the arts. If you’ve found this post helpful, by all means, share this post with your friends and associates. For more writing tips, essays and more, bookmark my website, http://www.theodorewebb.com.
Theodore Webb is the author of “The STARLING Connection,” a novel-series about a near-future drone-filled Dystopia in which a group of teenage “hackers” fight for their privacy and freedom to speak. Webb is the author of several short stories, including “Desperate Engine” and “Family Hour.” His electronic books and stories are available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. Webb regularly blogs at http://www.theodorewebb.com. “Like” his Facebook author page, http://www.facebook.com/theodorewebbauthor and follow him on Twitter at Theodore Webb @ STARLINGCONNECT.