Monday, July 2, 2018

The Power of Doing Nothing by Sorchia DuBois

An acquaintance of Robert Frost called him “The laziest man in the world” since he spent a lot of time sitting on his porch instead of attending to his farm or to a proper job. Yet he won four Pulitzer prizes and produced countless poems and writings.

We may not put ourselves in the same category as Robert Frost, but a modern writer’s life seems loaded with work these days. We Gothic writers require a certain atmosphere when we write, so just keeping all the candles and incense lit can turn into an exhausting chore. Not to mention feeding the cats, bats, newts, and spiders.

Then we have the requisite writerly chores like promoting and social media and book signings and author conferences, —and most importantly—writing the next bestseller. It all has to be done at the same time, which means while you’re cleaning the writing cave and promoting your books, you are also editing, revising, writing—and rinse and repeat! Publishing early and often is the best way to keep the sales moving so the cycle is never-ending.

It’s easy to feel like you are caught in a washing machine set on perpetual spin.

An author friend likes to joke about the common misconception readers have about a writer’s life. “They think we spend the afternoon on our yachts, sipping champagne and hobnobbing with celebrities. Then we duck below decks to type out an eighty-thousand word novel before dinner.”

If that were reality, more people would be authors. As it is, the general populace will never write anything beyond a high school essay. About 81% of U.S. citizens report they want to write a book—that’s around 200 million people. But fewer than 1 million books are published every year so most of those wannabees either can’t, won’t, or don’t write books. (Based on some of the “great ideas for a book” some of my acquaintances regale me with, it is a blessing most of them never see the light of day.) A good number probably make a stab at it, see what kind of soul-sucking, mind-warping endeavor it is, and back slowly toward the door. And that’s fine. Writing, like any profession, isn’t for everyone.

And somewhere along the way, creativity shrivels like a witch’s blackened heart (present company excepted, of course.) Writer’s block is a real thing that sometimes has its roots in the constant pressure to be not only a writer but an editor, a designer, a marketing expert, a financial guru, an entrepreneur, a mom, a wife—not to mention whatever you do for a dayjob. The secret to dissolving this kind of writer’s block is to do nothing.

I think it pays to remember what we do is unique—maybe be even divine. With that in mind, time spent just letting that energy flow is a worthwhile enterprise. Sit on the porch. Star at the stars. Mutter to yourself. Daydream. Close your eyes. Take a nap. Replenish your creative juices with some hard-core nature walks and extreme rose-smelling.

Doing nothing—when you are a writer-- is always doing something. 

And—not for nothin’—I’m doing something starting July 13. My new book, Zoraida Grey and

the Voodoo Queen hits the virtual shelves on August 1. To celebrate, I’ll be guest posting, featuring giveaways and sales, along with other pre-, during, and post-launch festivities. Visit my Witchmageddon page for more info.

BTW—you can preorder Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen right this very minute HERE

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, you can get a copy of that HERE.

If you are interested in doing a pre-launch review of Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, leave a comment or contact me on my webpage, and I'll arrange for you to receive ARCs of Books 1 and 2.


Diane Burton said...

When you described writing as "soul-sucking, mind-warping", I nodded my head. You are so right. So, why do we do it? We love to write. LOL at the atmosphere you paranormal writers have to have to write. I guess those of us who write sci-fi need aluminum hats and techno music. I do have a stuffed alien I take to book events--after I pry it out of Toddler Girl's hands. Best wishes on your newest release. I'd love to host you on my blog.

sorchiadubois said...

Thanks, Diane. I really thing writing is a calling for most of us. It's worse not to do it. I'd love to be on your blog. I'll schedule a post with you this evening--after the day job which is even more soul-sucking than I can describe.

Maureen said...

I agree that doing nothing is actually doing something as a writer -that's getting the creative juices flowing.

Francesca Quarto said...

Loved your insights and appreciated hearing them voiced as if picked from my own experience as an author. Thanks much for being such a true reflection of the writer's profession!

Francesca Q.

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