On Monday evening, I came home from Geek Girl Con to a packed inbox I really wasn’t ready to tackle. Because of the time difference, I ended up devoting two days to travel, and because of the lack of Internet in both the hotel room and the convention hall, I lost a full four days in which I’d normally be working on my book.
A lot of people, including myself, have an idealized version of the time spent writing a book. When I was younger, I imagined that by now I’d have a sunlit office (or any office at all), where I’d rise at 5 AM and churn out a chapter or two before anyone I knew was even awake. Or perhaps I’d retire to my candlelit library with a glass of wine in the evening, and transcribe the words on parchment with a fountain pen. So romantic.
But unless writing books is your full time job, and I’m guessing even if it is, life gets in the way. I wrote Otaku Journalism in snatches of time between my actual life obligations. And this book had such a tight deadline that I’m pretty sure I wrote every word of my chapter while actively experiencing a panic attack. Now, I’m writing around an event, not to mention all my usual writing jobs. (Though if I was going to take off time for ANY event, it’d be Geek Girl Con. More on that in a later post.)
I spent a good chunk of Geek Girl Con advising people how to launch their own careers in fandom, and if you have the time, I’d love for you to check out the fully taped panel I’ve linked here. But all the while, I was feeling pretty behind on my own. So now you get a short, late book-progress post, and I get a short week to compensate for all the work I didn’t do earlier.
I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s no perfect time to start writing your book. There are always going to be a million more pressing obligations to take care of.
Since high school I have idealized NaNoWriMo and every time—for over a decade now—I’ve pushed it aside with excuses. “I already write hundreds of words a day for work.” “Not this November; I’m too busy.” This year, however, none of that is stopping me. Because that decade has taught me that when I look back ten years, I don’t remember all the tiny chores I took care of. Only the book I didn’t write.
Who’s with me?
Screenshot from “From Feels To Skills: Putting Fandom On Your Resume.” Recording captured by Alexandra Edwards.