Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

The Distractions of Writing

There are a lot of demands on my time. It’s a scarce commodity, and likely I’m not the only person in this boat, right?

I felt like a writing goddess yesterday when I got six solid pages of good-quality content written. On a workday. Both the kids were at home too. It made me feel like a super star, like I could actually manage to pull this writing gig off.

il_570xN.321713924 I’ve been doubting myself lately, which I suppose bears mentioning. Finding time to write is hard. Actually writing is hard. Having a writing session that unsatisfying, then showing up again the next day is hard. If you tell anyone that you spend your free time writing, and they say that it must be nice, relaxing, or any other banal comment, laugh at them. (Please forgive this bit of snark) Tell them that writing makes your first job seem easy, and by the way, you’re a brain surgeon or rocket scientist. (One of my Dragon*Con friends, Mandy Pietruszewski actually is a rocket scientist. Isn’t that cool?)

It seems like I have been working on THE DREAMLESS CITY forever. Once I started looking at the actual time involved, it has been about three years, and in that time I have had two kids, finished grad school, and continued my full-time job. Maybe I shouldn’t be that hard on myself.

Today, I ran across a post from K.L. Wightman, which echoed some of my recent troubles. While her story is different on the outside, we are having similar troubles with our writing: “I’m struggling to balance all my goals.” I don’t just want to have a job; I want to have a successful career (until I make the Hugh Howey big time and can give up the logistics gig). I want to be there for my kids and stay involved in what they do as they grow. I got the MBA that I had wanted since I was 10 years old. (Yeah, I was a special kind of kid.) I can’t help it; I want it all!

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

And maybe I should put on my big girl panties and get the book finished. I want to go on record and say that I will have a complete draft of THE DREAMLESS CITY finished by August 31st. Neither rain nor snow nor more snow nor internet kerfuffles can keep me from my writing… but gosh, how I love reading about a good kerfuffle. ;)

George RR Martin has an interesting process of writing his Song of Ice and Fire series. He does not work on a 21st century computer. He types all those words on an ancient MS-DOS PC with no internet connection and no spell checking software (because it does not recognize fantasy terminology). I cannot begin to imagine it!

10 comments on “The Distractions of Writing

  1. K. L. Wightman
    June 12, 2014

    Thanks for mentioning my blog post! It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my writing struggles.

    • tracycembor
      June 13, 2014

      You’re very welcome! I love leading people to find well-written blogs like yours. It’s just a bit of that internet karma. ;)

  2. D. James Fortescue
    June 13, 2014

    Congrats of edging ever closer to your final draft. With so many other pressing demands, it is an epic effort to have come so far =)

    • tracycembor
      June 13, 2014

      All this edging ever closer makes me want to jump off a cliff. Here’s shooting for the end of August!

      • D. James Fortescue
        June 14, 2014

        Just make sure you have either wings or a dragon when you jump =)

        Go hard for August!

  3. mjpullen
    June 13, 2014

    Good for you for getting those pages done and putting your goal out there! I’ll help hold you accountable if you do the same. :)

    • tracycembor
      June 13, 2014

      Sounds good. If I lose, I’ll babysit your kids for you (which I would totally do anyway, but without the pizza and ice cream). And now I am off to write some more.

  4. livelytwist
    June 17, 2014

    “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne. I agree. Hey, maybe you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. It isn’t as if you opened a bag of crisps and fiddled with the remote control for the last three years. :)

    • tracycembor
      June 19, 2014

      True, I have been a bit busy lately, but I don’t think my life will be getting less busy in the near future. I just need to get as many words on the page as I can each day.

      And don’t tell anyone, but I had hummus and chips and veged out watching Longmire last night.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on June 12, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .

Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

Writers of the Future Honorable Mention

About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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