Author Quarantine! Making Sure You Hit Your Writing Goals
By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins
It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog post for August Rose Press. Truth be told, I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed my lovely readers (yes, that means you!), I’ve missed writing for the blog, and I’ve missed just the writing process in general.
I’ve done a lot of writing in the past few months, but unfortunately, none of that writing has been for *me* (I’ve also done more copyediting than you can imagine). I’ve been working on several publications outside of August Rose Press, and quite frankly, my time has run away from me. I’ve done a lot of writing on systemic issues around race, identity, housing, food, and all sorts of other social justice issues. It’s been really great work, and I’m proud of what I’ve produced, but it isn’t fiction. I love fiction, I’ve always have. While writing for other people, I realized that while I was getting better at it at an impressive speed, I wasn’t getting better at *my* writing. The problem was that the content wasn’t fiction. It was all real things, real things that affect a lot of people all over the world. But I love fiction, because it allows me to escape. I love fiction, because I get to choose the outcome (truth be told, my characters choose the outcome, I’m just along for the ride). I love fiction because it has to make sense.
I can’t begin to make sense of the murders of the Charleston/Emmanuel Nine. I can’t begin to make sense of Rachel Dolezal’s masquerade as a black woman. I can’t begin to make sense of housing discrimination, violence toward the LGBTQ community, or children being attacked by police for going swimming. In fiction, there is a level of control. In fiction, things have to make sense. In fiction, ish just can’t happen and people are okay with it. If nonsense happens in your writing, a reader will give you the side eye, put it down, and then go watch Netflix. Fiction, in a sense, respects the reader. That’s why I need to head back to fiction writing.
So luckily for me, in the near future, I’m going to quarantine myself by my computer, have plenty of coffee on and, and finally finish Bobbing and Weaving. I’m going to re-map out the ending (yet again). I’m going to re-start working on Lessons from John. And I have at least one other book that I’m putting in the pipeline.
To make sure I hit my writing goals, I’m going to make a plan. I’m going to stick to the plan. While I can’t binge-write every single day, I will do the best that I can. After all, life does take over once in a while. And when life stops making sense, I will turn to fiction to regain some sense of normality. And I will continue to start sentences with conjunctions! Because fiction is a beautiful thing.
Do you quarantine yourself to get writing done? What are your current writing goals?
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