Writing Vacuums

One of my favorite things about freelancing and writing is what’s about to happen tomorrow morning. I’m leaving to go to the Galveston area for a month, take a bit of an extended vacation, and yet, I can take my computer with me, and still make money doing what I love from just about anywhere a laptop can get power.

There’s nothing like it. When I start to get a little down on being stuck in the house and all alone (writing is a very solitary job, you know) I can pick up the computer and go somewhere else.

If you’re a freelance writer, a writer or any kind, and you don’t have a laptop, I suggest you get one soon. If you’re thinking of freelancing, invest in a laptop. Seriously.

I learned something from my AC Month-long challenge. I don’t like writing in a vacuum.

See, fiction writing is mostly written in a vacuum you create in your head, and inside that vacuum, you build a viable universe, a world in which your characters and novel exists for real, but you get little feedback as the writer and creator of that universe. While the characters talk to me in my head, once the novel is written, the only feedback I’m going to get is from editors, agents, publishers – and most of those are going to be ‘thanks but no thanks’.

When sending in magazine articles and queries, it’s very similar. We get a lot of negative feedback about our writing, but not a lot of positive feedback, and then add to that, we sit in houses or offices all day and write all alone by ourselves, and it’s no wonder a lot of the best writers of our time are insane.

Anyone would go insane if they had to be alone that much, living and working in a vacuum.

I’ve coached writers who have left their office jobs to write, and I’ve warned them… however much they think they are going to enjoy the peace and quiet, and they might at first, if they aren’t aware of the way being alone all day long, day in and out, doing nothing but writing is going to affect them, they are in for a huge surprise.

It’s hard to stay motivated when all you get are rejections and little positive feedback. It’s hard to stay positive about a writing career when things are all in this writing vacuum. I had an IM conversation with Susan Sosbe last night, where she was talking to me about these very feelings. Tomorrow, I’ll put up an ‘assignment’ of sorts that I made Susan write out. It helped her. I think it will help many of you too.

My advice in this blog is to make sure when you’re freelancing or writing from home that you make the time to socialize too. Get that laptop and go sit in the park or at a coffee shop. Be around people during the day. You’d be surprised how much you really do need it.

Secondly, find some positive interaction as it pertains to your writing. For me, I have two things that keep me sane – and it was the month-long AC challenge that showed me this.

See, when I can get several hundred bucks per article in print, I have, many times, wondered what it was that kept me coming back to AC over and over again, knowing they often frustrated me and paid a lot less than print venues did.

I just don’t like the vacuum. AC, with the feedback, comments, forum and such along with making money keeps me from feeling I’m in that vacuum.

The other thing that keeps that vacuum from absorbing me into a writer’s depression is my writing forum. Without it, I might very well be criminally insane and not just clinically so (giggles).

Look for Susan’s assignment sometime tomorrow… until then, stop by the forum and share with us in this thread all the things that keep you from being in a writer’s vacuum. What do you do for yourself when the rejections are rolling in that keep you motivated and keep you writing and moving forward anyway?

Love and stuff,