Emotions, Sports, And My Lack Of Writing Discipline
I’m writing this Sunday afternoon after watching a heartbreaking Lions loss which followed up on watching a heartbreaking Tigers loss last night. This got me thinking about the emotion attached to sports and why we as fans invest so much of ourselves in a game played by other people. It reminded me of a scene from the movie Fever Pitch. Four guys, who are major fans of the Boston Red Sox, are at a bar drinking away their sorrows after the Sox have been knocked out of the playoffs once again. While our guys are drinking and lamenting, they look over and see four of the Red Sox players having dinner, and drinking, and enjoying themselves. This makes our guys angry because the loss doesn’t seem to have any effect on them. I’m sure there are plenty of psychological reasons for this emotional investment, but as Lions fan I think I’ve done a pretty good job of managing my emotions so my entire day is ruined when one of my teams loses because, in the end, it’s just a game and it’s not even a game I have any real stakes in.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the projects I’m working on. I wrote a couple of posts last week about why I’m working on a cozy novel, but the truth is, there are two other projects I’d really like to be working on as well. I almost wrote another post lamenting how much I really wish it was commercially viable to write nothing but PI novels, but I backed off for a couple of reasons. First, I think I’ve written about it enough. I worked myself into something of a nasty writing slump a few years ago by thinking too much about which project I should be working on. Second, the problem isn’t what I’m writing, the problem is how little time I’m devoting to writing anything.
As I looked back at my previous writings on this, I realized the only time I concern myself this much with what project I should be working on is when I’m not writing. In general, I’m a pretty fast writer and should be able to finish a manuscript every four or five months which gives me the opportunity to write at least two books a year. At that rate, there shouldn’t be any problem writing whatever books I want. The problem comes when I’m not writing at all or only writing in little dribbles. When I’m only managing 100 words a day and it looks like I’ll only be writing one book every three years, that’s when I find myself worrying too much about what that one book should be.
So the obvious solution isn’t a whiny post about what I wish I was writing, the solution is to get my ass into gear and write enough that I’m able to write all of the books I want. At the speed I’m capable of writing, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to write a cozy novel, an urban fantasy novel, and a PI novel in the next year or so. The problem isn’t what I’m writing, the problem is my lack of discipline. I’ve found a nice routine that’s working for my editing career at home and now it’s time to start working my novel writing into the mix. Obviously the editing that pays the bills should get first priority, but in the afternoons I think there is plenty of opportunity to work an hour of fiction writing into the mix.