Self-discipline or lack thereof
In September, I took an online class called "How to Write 50 Books a Year." Not that the instructors actually expected you to write 50 books--the idea was increase your productivity by setting very specific, ambitious goals and then creating year-long spreadsheets, calendars, and various other businessy tools to track your progress toward them.
It seemed like a grand idea. So I did it.
And now I look at the damn calendar and feel so intimidated that I'm tempted to write fanfic, or read fanfic, or clean the bathtub, or do anything other than work on my books.
I'm coming, slowly but relentlessly, to the conclusion that I need an element of playfulness and mystery mixed in with the business of writing. Need to make time for poetry and other types of writing I love, but don't get paid for. Need to clean my altar and start lighting candles for the White Goddess again.
I still need to keep to a schedule, track my deadlines, and do all the appropriate businesslike things. But somewhere along the line, it's become such a business that I sometimes lose the joy. Sure, bad days are to be expected, but I've had too many lately. All too often I want to goof off, like I used to at my day job, when I'd often spend a lot of time surfing the internet or visiting the penguins and otters. (I worked at an aquarium. Awful job in some aspects, but wonderful people and of course fascinating and cute critters.) And really, if I'm making damn little money and working crazy hours on something that isn't bringing me joy more consistently than not, I ought to go back to non-profit management, where the damn little money at least arrived on a predictable schedule.
And since I don't want to do that (frankly I think my husband would chain me to my desk to prevent it, since I was so miserable at the job after the Aquarium)--time to find the joy again.
Next to consider: Am I working on the wrong projects? Too many different projects? In the wrong genres? I love the idea of erotic romance, but is it the right genre for me? Logically I think yes...so how come I can't finish a bloody novel?