Monday, February 01, 2010

Is the writing process logical?

$1200 a month. That's what we received in unemployment this past year. When you do the math, it isn't enough to live on. Nor is it enough to pay taxes from.

Yup. We have to pay taxes on unemployment.

Doesn't hardly seem fair or logical for that matter. If it weren't for savings, we would have lost our home by now. We would be on the street hoping a relative or friend would take us in.

Life isn't always logical, is it?

Neither is the business of writing.

We work day and night, slaving over words, punctuation, plot structures . . . the list goes on. If it weren't for the support from our family and friends, we'd give up. Throw up our hands. Say it isn't worth it.

But like life, if we are really called to write, we don't. Give up that is.

Just like my husband and I have had to continually be creative in our methods of survival, so do we as writers need to be in how we write. New twists, better openings, deeper characterizations, stronger dialogue, great hooks.

Until it pays off and you finally get the call.

What are you doing to help you keep going with your writing?

43 comments:

Paul Greci said...

One of the things I am doing right now to help push myself with my writing is rewriting my WIP from a different viewpoint. In a way it's challenging myself to go deeper with my POV character

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Wow. Paying taxes on that is ridiculous!

Hmm... right now I'm trying to do one thing at a time. I've been finishing little projects and hope to focus full attention on WIP soon!

Katie Ganshert said...

I find ways to grow and improve. I spend ridiculous amounts of time on one page. But when I read it out loud and I get that, "That's it." feeling, then all the hours and sweating are most definitely worth it.

So glad you found a job, Terri!

Janna Qualman said...

Terri, your openness and honesty are humble and warming. Thank you for being you.

I just try to take it one day at a time, like we should with anything, like life.

Tamika: said...

I'm not surprised to learn that you have to pay taxes on unemployment! So, sad.

Thankfully God provides the resources and enthusiasm that fuels our efforts. Writing is not an instant gratification game.

Heckety said...

If its bursting out your head and taking over everything in your mind then you have to write it down to get rid of it!

Sounds lunatic!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

That's so unjust to have to pay taxes on unemployment! We pay taxes on our Social Security benefits too! Now, if I remember correctly, SS was a tax we paid and now we pay on that tax...again! UGH!

As far as writing goes...I just keep writing and learning about writing because there's no cure for the writing addiction! LOL!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Don't you love it that God takes care of His sheep, no matter how cruel and unfair the world is?

I'm so happy you had savings, and soon will have a paycheck. Glory to God!

I am always reading, always trying to find new ways to put words together to say what's in my heart, hoping it will touch another heart.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Reading always inspires me and keeps me going. Plus, trying new types of writing is helping me stay fresh, too.

Lin Floyd said...

right now I'm focusing on poetry, entering contests, attending critique groups, and working on a children book of nature notes. writing and life are always challenges.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I have a critique group ready to review it. ;)

I want to do all the things you listed above even after & beyond the call b/c it's God's call in my life.

~ Wendy

sarah said...

I think going through that hard time....probably made you guys stronger...I know it did me. I see things differently than had I not lived through what I did.

This month taking a writing course, joined a writers group and have a close friend with whom I share writing with.

Kerrie said...

Surrounding myself with other writers. Their energy and enthusiasm keeps me motivated.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Consciously put an effort in each day, whether it's through reading because as a writer, reading is educational when we can stop ourselves from tearing the work apart to see how it keeps us glued, to writing something, anything that counts as practice.

Heather Sunseri said...

Right now I'm reading wonderful books by very gifted writers. It gets my creative juices flowing.

Sassy Granny ... said...

It sure seems to me that there are far more things that don't make sense than do! On more than one occasion I've had to adjust my thinking, if not my course, to allow for them.

Something that helps me to maintain my focus (regardless of what it pertains to), is this, Proverbs 4:25-27

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left ...

Blessings,
Kathleen

Carmen said...

I have to admit...after studying all the many writing rules, I've kind of 'thrown out the book.' I know that's bad. I really only want to get my thoughts on paper. I try to write something that's legible when I write--but I'm sure I get a few question marks here and there.
As for taxes on unemployment--they just want to get that last drop of blood!

AnooCre8ion said...

Really praying your new job starts up soon.
Right now I am doing more reading than writing, but that's ok for me. I am trying to read a lot of what I would like to write about so it helps immensely.

Blessings,
Vickie

Susan R. Mills said...

Great post! I'm just trying to keep writing no matter what. As long as I'm doing that, I consider myself a success.

Paula said...

I am a struggling wanna-be at this point in time. Working to keep a blog going in the midst of financial crisis, too. I find that it is very hard for me to come up with things to write about when I barely want to get out of bed in the morning, but all days are not quite so difficult. :)

Taking a day at a time!

I appreciate your blog so much. Thank you for your transparency! I feel like my attempts at it come across as just a lot of whinings and complainings. Working on that.

:)

Holly Rutchik said...

My hubby and I are going throguh something similar to what you have been through. I have found the blessing in my writing - it has become one of the only things I can control. This means I have actually developed an editing process that goes beyond a read through and spell check! it sounds nuts, but I never had a process before. The Lord is blessing our gifts as we live through our struggles.

Andrea said...

We must keep on moving toward the prize....running the race with GOD.
Hugs,
andrea

BeckyJoie said...

Maybe you will get a good refund! I hate paying taxes when the income is already so low. I am with you.

Maria I. Morgan said...

When you love the craft, it's hard to stop writing! Sometimes it's good for me to switch from my devotional writing to a lighter childrens' story. Constantly keeping a look-out for things that 'beg' to be written about! And pray, pray, pray!! God bless you, Terri!

Jan Cline said...

The bottom line is we do what we are called to do and God takes care of the rest. You have learned that lesson well!
Luv,
Jan

Jill Kemerer said...

One of my good friends has been posting inspirational videos each Monday on our RWA chapter Loop. It's really helped me get through my Monday lack-of-motivation.

Kara said...

I try to immerse myself in creative acts...whether it is cooking, photography, sewing, painting with the kids or writing. Whenever I am actively being creative I am inspired.
And who came up with that rule on taxes, that is so crazy!!

Cindy said...

I'm trying to push myself to try more. I'm trying to push myself to be unique. But mostly, whenever I receive unfortunate news, I try to learn from it and grow to be a better writer.

Karen Wilber said...

I tell myself that, right now, I'm collecting material. LOL I try to write when I have time. My boys will only be this young for a season. I'm planning to challenge myself to write more during Lent, like I did during Advent.

jdcoughlin said...

That is an awful way to treat productive people. Unbelievable the utter lack of common sense in some things.
What do I do, most days, stay ahead. Get up and pretend I'm a writer. Just write. Do some more. Read aloud. And always introduce myself as a writer.
But you are amazing. Hang tough, girl!

destrella said...

My dad was laid off 3 times and each time we would squeeze by with savings. Thank God you got the call! :O)

Lily Robinson said...

I took a break & missed your news... Congrats on the new job! God's timing is perfect, isn't it?

I have spent time on unemployment. It is sad to have to pay taxes on such a low income. Same with my pension. I was glad to hear today that Obama is canceling the moon trip! Maybe we'll get another refund!

Yes, if I didn't feel I was born to write, I'd have given up long ago. And now, with e-books and further bad news for authors...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Yup. I have to pay taxes on my unemployment also.

When I see a devotional, short story, or filler in print, it motivates me for the long-haul involved in writing a book.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica said...

Have you heard of the Fair Tax? I'm hoping that'll get some government attention. I'm sorry you have to pay on unemployment. That stinks.
What motivates me? Right now, not much. Grrr. The future maybe. Chocolate. LOL
I have a post coming up that is designed for me to be motivated.
:-)

Linda Glaz said...

Working at a part time job I hate so I have the time to write and enough to help the family budget. And the first rule of writing...pray.

Wifsie said...

We yearn for logic because we yearn for control. The writing process -like the living process- does not work that way. I'm still figuring out how to keep my writing going with all the other stuff going on in my life. i find that posting on the blog helps. it's a friendly deadline, but a deadline all the same.
Maryse

Elana Johnson said...

Ahhh! This is my motivation post today. Maybe I need to get creative? Or maybe I just need to go back to bed. ;)

For serious, I usually don't have a problem with working hard, learning more, being better. If only it came with a user's manual.

Nancy said...

Love how you are pushing through the hard things with your life and your book. Your reward will come. Keep at it. You already have accomplished so much.

Rose Mary said...

Great post, Terri. It is definitely a struggle at times to find the 'want-to' to go on with the writing process. Especially right after a rejection. I think reading blogs like yours is a real encouragement and I thank you for your words.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Lots of time on my knees in prayer and reading blogs like yours that keep me connected to my dream.

I love talking with other writers who think and dream like me!

peace~elaine

Melissa Marsh said...

I just keep moving forward. I allow myself to vent when I need to, otherwise all that frustration builds up.

Susan Wicker said...

Hi Terri....To answer your question, what I'm doing to keep going with writing is posting every day on my blog, writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.com. I'm a feature writer and also love to take photos. Daily posting has been great fun and I am so happy to be writing again. I'm also trying to freelance which is always a challenge. Thank you so much for YOUR posts, too. Sincerely, Susan

Texas Playwright Chick said...

Lots of prayer helps. Also, being committed to myself, meaning Show up at the computer and write. That's key for me. Show up and write.