#ROW80 Checkin–Goals Rekick, and the Motivation of a Non-caring Public.

A very brief checkin. Last week I pinpointed the end of this week for my fourth revision of Blue Daisies, the main writing goal I’m working on over the last few months.

Ah-heh. Yeah, may have underestimated that again. Some of my larger scenes are needing almost complete rewrites. Others just come together, needing little work, and can be done in an hour. So, sometimes I get one done in a day, sometimes quicker. I’m going through the alphabet, and am over 3/4 there, but some days I need to work on other stuff too. Don’t we all?

Goals Rekick

So, here’s a rejig of the main and intermediate goals –

1. Blue Daisies. Complete 4th Revision by 8th September, and put into the hands of first beta (another guilty chuckle – a family member).

2. Work necessary for the thriller writing course I am on. I tend to go overboard on what is necessary, because it inspires clearer ideas for upcoming characters / stories.

3. Reading. Read more thriller fiction. Try not to critique them too much, just learn as much as possible about what makes me happy with reading – and for writing.

4. Social – the mindset necessary to sit down and revise thousands of words has made me less than stellar on the social front. I would prefer it to be that way for another couple of weeks until out of the waters on Blue Daisies.

More writer’s goals, successes or otherwise can be found via the ROW80 list. For Round 3, we’ve just moved into the final month. The organisers are looking for sponsors for Round 4.

Okay, that’s the main blog post. If you care for a longer diatribe on being a writer amongst non-writers, carry on.

The Motivation of a non-caring public

Warning: I believe the following diatribe may involve several mixed metaphors and worm-hole amounts of inconclusive thinking. Don’t read if you’re needing to feel awake.

On Monday I went to another social meeting, a coffee morning – organised for my daughter’s year group mums. Previously I’ve gone along to a few, only to feel like a fish out of water. To be expected, as a chronic introvert, and annoyingly shy with it. Over the previous winter term (they have four terms here in New South Wales), I’d not gone along, because I’d been neck-deep in first drafting my debut novel, and didn’t want to lose my writing mojo.

Everytime I turn up there is a small new group of women there, and nearly always, they tend to be the best of friends anyway, women who meet up amongst themselves, have similar interests. Not so much the school yard mafia mums you read about, but more like school yard chum mums brought together because they have children of similar ages doing similar sports and activities. Being included into conversation within any chum mum group is always thwart with awkward pauses and times when I find myself wondering if I should just get a book out to read while they discuss something I can’t add to. It happens, it’s society, but makes any time I go to these things surprising and non-predicatable.

But, now that I’m editing – phenomenally more difficult – I needed a break. Besides, my hubbie was away on a business trip, and this might have been the last opportunity I had to actually be in touching distance from a real live human being for a week. Talking with adults – I could force myself to do that for an hour, surely? Even if I still sat there most of the time, gulping air like that fish in a bowl.

Which, for part of the time, I did do, admittedly. But I was surprised to find that for some of the women there, because my face had been around for a certain amount of months, I was more involved in their discussions. Okay, sometimes, at least.

What came out of it was that most of those mothers also have some form of part-time work. The few full time female workers obviously can’t attend such coffee mornings. But most had part-time work during the week. This is something I have done previously in the U.K. but here in Sydney part-time work in my own fields is impossible to locate, and certainly doesn’t sit well around school pickup or drop-off times. Besides, there are 50,000 other mothers around locally looking for that same work. Ain’t that always the way?

Whereas most of the women I was sitting with were earning a little to be able to afford their lattés at least, I was mindful that my own family had taken on a hefty mortgage and transfer costs to get here, and I could only afford the one coffee, and perhaps a muffin that would do for my lunch too. Mmmm, muffin. I remember it well.

Anyway, although nobody asked this time around, (and I would have answered “I’m a writer” to the question, if it had come up), the knowledge that most of the women there were earning something towards the hefty school fees or household income re-inspired me to make my writing professional again. Not for credibility, not for passion. Simply to help out my own family financially.

Yes, there’s a good chance I won’t become a millionaire out of my writing  —  in which case, my husband has suggested he will retire, and let me get on with it, long into my own retirement age (That’s right isn’t it – writers are one of the few professions that never retire, they just die, right?).

There’s a better chance that I’ll be incredibly lucky to earn half this nation’s minimal wage for teenagers, or less. Some rumours even suggest I might be grateful to earn $100 in a year*.

So, there’s something big to be said about keeping hold of that passion for writing too. It may be the only thing I can eat out of it. Eat my words, get it?

But if I can turn up one day to a school mum’s coffee morning, and say that I’m a working writer who has sold** some books (who ever bothers to ask these part time workers just how much they earn, anyway?) then that’s inspiring enough to get on with it. To write. And earn.

* I believe there’s something to be said about mindset here. If I keep a much higher amount in mind than fixate on the hundreds, and really visualise and go for that $1M, then the world’s an oyster, and my hubbie, the lazy good-for-nothing-so-and-so gets to retire early, and go oyster fishing or something. Not that either of us actually like oysters.

** In this particular aspect, I consider freebie “sales” via Amazon Select giveaways as not being sales. I’m talking about real money, even if 99 cents, and one copy (not bought by myself…although…).

Anyone want to donate to this working writer, feel free to paypal me via my email address. Just kidding.

One thought on “#ROW80 Checkin–Goals Rekick, and the Motivation of a Non-caring Public.

  1. I’ve occasionally had the same, uncomfortable conversations as you, so I can identify with what you’re going through. However, my closest friends really support me, and even my more casual friends think that writing books is an admirable goal. I socialize a little out of the mainstream here in America, though, so I have no doubt that in civilized company I’d get a couple stray looks, especially when I tell them that I’ll soon be a stay-at-home dad to write while my wife works.

    Hang in there, and keep putting yourself out of your comfort zone. When things get uncomfortable… that’s when the memorable moments for stories pop up!

    Good luck the rest of the week!

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