Writing in the Good Times. Writing in the Bad.

Part of being a writer is being essentially self-employed, effectively being creative, on demand, on a schedule, with only yourself as your manager. There are two major things you have to master to make a serious go of that.

The first is keeping up with writing when things are going well. If you’re on schedule or ahead of schedule, it can be easy to slack off because there’s no sense of urgency. A little of this can be a good thing, to keep you fresh. Too much, and you can dig yourself into a hole. Writing day in and day out can be boring, or frustrating, or uninspired, and you have to overcome all those states if you’re going to make a living with the power of the word.

The second thing you have to master is keeping up with writing when things are not going well. The deadline crunch is a big part of that, but that can be mastered with good pacing, writing under pressure, and pulling longer writing days when you are behind.

Much, much harder is dealing with other kinds of problems. A major expense comes along, and you spend too much time worrying and not enough being productive. Relationship problems make it hard to be happy and thus hard to be creative. A loved one gets sick, and you have to try to work on a laptop in a hospital room on too little sleep, because the stress has given you insomnia, and you want to spend every waking hour with your wife at the hospital anyway.

Those major life problems are going to come at you. And you can’t really plan for them, except in a broad way (staying well ahead of schedule is one good option). There’s no good way to practice for them either. Like anything during adversity you’ll handle some things, find make-shift solutions for others, and fail at some. Maybe fail at more than you’d like.

But it’s all part of the writer’s life.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on May 27, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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