Friday, 7 January 2011


By Richard Jay Parker

Weekends are bad for you. It must be true it was the final item on the radio news last week. According to 'experts,' weekends throw your daily routines making it difficult to slot back into them the following week.

I actually maintain that it's weeks that are at fault. They leave an irritatingly long gap between weekends and certainly leave you out of sorts until Friday. It's worse after a Christmas break. When I get back in front of my keyboard it feels like I'm wearing boxing gloves.

But as we get back to normal and try to kick-start our motivation to work it's worth trying to focus on something positive to combat the generally hungover and overcast atmosphere that's always prevalent this time of year.

One such thought struck me during the holidays when I was chatting to some friends who run their own business. In a tough climate they not only have to panic about staying buoyant but have staff, premisesand multiple overheads to worry about.

Writers certainly don't have these sort of considerations to address in order to operate. A keyboard and some electricity are the only essentials. Its personal investment that is vital - determination, patience and sanity.

Personal overheads don't cost anything but shouldn't be underestimated, particularly at the start of a New Year.

Whatever stage of a writing career you're at it's all about geting out of bed and climbing the hill again. I wish everyone the fuel of optimisim and the energy to get the words down. After all, even though you're not a limited company you've still got to be the boss.

Happy and productive 2011!

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  1. Oh Richard, this is so true...finding the energy! The problem is, as far as I am concerned, work finishes, the holiday begins and you relax. Your brain sort of goes into mini-hibernation. Everything gets put to the very back shelf...and then, in a blink, it's all over. Christmas, New Year, it all fades and you have to haul yourself up and start again. And it's hard!
    But...having taken those first few tentaive steps, it begins again...the outpouring. The thrill, the rush of optimism, the creative juices...I have high hopes for this year. I hope to get that deal, write something which sells more than a hundred copies, do something which catches someone's attention. Yes, high hopes...but to get there again, to put myself in front of that's been SO difficult!

  2. By Peter Stuart Smith

    Oddly enough, I seem to have almost the opposite problem. It's not conscious, and I can only assume that it's something to do with the work ethic that was drummed into me by my parents and later at school and in the military, but when I'm not sitting in front of the computer attempting to be productive, I have a nagging but persistent feeling of guilt.

    Of course, just because I'm staring at the screen doesn't necessarily mean that I'm writing, or least writing anything useful. I find the lure of Amazon (just checking my numbers, that kind of thing) and eBay (there's always another gadget I could use to make my life easier) can sometimes be irresistible. And there are always e-mails that need a reply.

    This morning is a typical example. I arose with good intentions, and over the last hour or so I've visited both the main Amazon sites, ordered a copy of the latest 'James Becker' book to be sent to a blogger in Texas (it was a prize in a US competition), looked at three things on eBay that I think it'll be difficult to live without, checked and replied to a handful of e-mails, and visited this blog. But done no actual work.

    So I suppose I'd better start now!

  3. Am I completely insane to have spent 6 hours (maybe more) writing on Christmas Day? I even resent having to spend time eating when I could be writing. (Yet here I am... on the blog...) So I guess I'm with Peter on this one. To be fair, I have had 3 deadlines lately - proofs of Road Closed ebook just checked, proofs of Dead End to be read through for end of January, WIP to be completed this week... Got to go! Too much to do... (emails, facebook, twitter, blogs...)

  4. Thanks, Glenn. It's reassuring to know there's plenty of writers out there feeling the same. Best of luck with your writing in 2011.

    I can only aspire to that sort of discipline, Peter. Know what you mean about those online distractions. At least it looks like work though.

    Thanks, Leigh. Writing on Christmas Day? How did your family feel? They must be used to it by now...

  5. Gawd yes - completely agree with all of this. I've been finding it so difficult this year that today's my first real day "back at work" in front of the computer - going through my latest synopsis.

    Even so, I have already been tempted to give up... until something I read suddenly gave me a little spark. Perhaps it's a little conceited, but I really enjoyed something I'd written - and it has given me the energy I needed to carry on!

    Discipline? Isn't that something you're supposed to do with your children or something? ;)

    Great blog. Just joined Richard on Twitter too, hence my visit!

  6. Thanks for your contribution, Paul. Hope you're getting motivated now. See you on Twitter.