I just saw a post on LinkedIn that said, “a writer writes every day – what have you written today?” Whatta buncha malarkey!
The only person who should be telling you when to write is your boss, if you’re a professional, your editor if you’re published, or you, if you’re like the rest of us.
Or your wife, if you’re like me.
We live in sunny Southern California, but in the northern part, which is separated from Central California by just a mountain range. If I drew you a map you’d get the picture.
It’s really nice here. Lots of beaches and mountains, and not nearly as crowded as LA, which is just on the other side of the Santa Monica Mountains. Yep, Los Angeles is just an hour to the east, the snowy mountains an hour to the north, and Central California just an hour to the west.
Central California is the home to the Santa Barbara County wine region, and the bazillion or so wineries with tasting rooms that cater to those with the means and the free time to go a’wine-tastin’. It’s a big deal up there. And not really all that expensive. And kinda fun…
Actually, wine tasting is kinda fun. You visit these beautiful wine estates, are seated at a nice table that overlooks the vines or the fermenting vats or the parking lot, and a wine server pours you a stingy little glass of wine, and explains that this wine comes from the owner’s private reserve stock featuring grapes that were pollinated by bees that have PhDs in oenology and tastes of honey and oak with a hint of marmalade and a nice finish of cheese, figs, and asparagus.
And you sip it and say oh, that is good. It takes about two sips to finish off the stingy little glass, and then the server comes back with a different bottle and a different story, and so it goes for five different wines. You don’t really want to go to more than two wineries on your trip because you lose your palate – a wine-tasting term meaning your ability to taste the wine – and you’ll also get sorta crocked.
And at $35 per person for a flight – a wine-taster’s term for the group of five wines – you want to taste that wine!
Out of the blue my wife says get off your can and go write about these tasting rooms. Somebody’s sure to publish that.
Two days later she says get off your can and let’s rent e-bikes so that you can write about our adventures doing that. Somebody’s sure to publish that, too.
Suddenly, my author’s to-do list is very full! Pirates over here, wineries over there! E-bikes? Where does she come up with this stuff? And why can’t I sit on my can?
Because, she reminds me, the chances of getting my book published are muuuuch greater if I myself have been published.
Her point is well made.
Plus it gives me something more to do whilst waiting and waiting and waiting for her to read my manuscript to get the final official nod to go forward with seeking an agent and keeping peace here in the valley on account of she would get so mad if I said “skip it I’m gonna submit this book anyway” and she would be like “what? You couldn’t wait five minutes for me to read it?” and then she’d be all upset and I’d be all upset and she would hate the book and even if I did score an agent she would be like OMG I hate that book.
So, I guess I’ll get off my can and go to a winery.
In truth, I’m much harder on my lovely, elegant, and infinetly supportive wife than she deserves. She is a truly wonderful person and partner who actually knows a lot about the publishing industry. And she has the patience of a saint. And she knows a ton about wine, too.
That being said, no one should ever tell you when to write. You write when you’re ready to write. And don’t let anyone push you around, got it?
Now leave me alone while get off my can and do l as I’m told…