If you’re like me, with a thousand more things to do than there are hours in the day, you wish for more free time the way Kim Kardashian might wish for a brain. Recently, however, I’ve found myself with a boatload of spare time on my hands. Days and days and days of it.
Nothing has been worse for my writing career.
Why is this happening, I ask myself. WHY? I should have written three novels by now and outlined a fourth. I should have my Goodreads page updated, my Amazon author page updated, and have enough blog posts written so I can take the rest of the year off. But have I done any of those things? Even one? No siree! I also haven’t organized my closets, given my apartment a proper cleaning, or switched out my winter clothes for summer. Turns out, in order to get my rear in gear, I’m the type of person who needs a serious deadline. A pressure writer. Perhaps, even, a pressure thriver.
When I was in college I was asked by someone extremely close to me to write a paper on his behalf. Yeah yeah, I know. I probably shouldn’t have offered. But hey, I was in love. So anyway, I had this paper to write. I put it off and put it off, ’cause, you know, I had plenty of time. But then the deadline crept on up me and the night before it was due I holed up in my room sweating it out. Cursing and swearing and pledging to myself that I would never ever ever get myself into that position again. But I met the deadline, finished the paper, and turned it in to my friend. And the grade? Well, ahem. I aced it.
I look back on that incident, combined with my thorough lack of motivation in my present situation, and it all adds up to needing some pressure, a deadline, a driver with a sharp whip screaming at me to get moving. If I don’t have that, I do senseless things that leave me completely unsatisfied, like looking at phallic lipsticks and trying to decide whether I like the available colors. Or whether I’d have the balls – heh – to use them in public.
In the absence of having a deadline put upon me, I need to put one on myself. This is surely one of the reasons why writers sign up for the annual NaNoWriMo challenge. You’re given an insane deadline with a clear cut goal. Now get to it. For me, the key to successfully wrangling this free time and making the best of it is structure. I need a schedule that tells me exactly what I should be doing, when, and for how long. And then I have to stick to it. If I don’t have that, who knows how I’ll occupy my time. I might decide I need to make my eyebrows multi-colored. In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cute kitten videos to watch.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for a FREE READ of my newest erotic historical release, Desire Rising.
Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her recent releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires. Her newest book, released April 29th, is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press.