In fact, if you are a writer, you are sitting on your arse all day. Be proud of it. Ignore the naysayers. Do not forget them, though. You are writing for them. To communicate. Or else it is all an exercise in monochrome masturbation.
But yours is a different path. Your first step toward establishing communication is a paradox: you become a hermit. You have at most three thousand readable words to write a day. That’s your repository, your capacity. After that it is an utter disaster, you’ll write junk. But be careful. Everyone is out to steal those words and poison them. Every time you hear someone talk (TV, Facebook chats, human interaction, party, football game, whatever) one of your readable words dies. It gets erased at pre-birth and whirls down to non-existence. There is only one way to write 210,000 words that make up a semi-coherent story in 100 days. You become a hermit.
You turn a deaf ear to any friends you might have from the old pre-writing days who simply think that what you’re doing is relaxing, not going to work and that it is a carefree pastime. Sure it is fun, but it is nothing close to carefree.
It is physical torture. Forget the anxiety, the delusions of grandeur, the delusions of finding an agent etc. I am talking about physical torture.
Your immune system collapses. Flesh-eating warts consume the soles of your feet, (do not google that), and you cannot even walk. Yet walking the six miles a day is so important to untangling the story. You crawl for a few weeks until the acid medicine works. Freezing the warts doesn’t work. Only the acid. Do not, please do not, mix it up with the eye-drops at 3 am when you go to bed. Remember that.
Cortisone is your only friend when the back pain is unbearable. And she is a friend that doesn’t talk much so she won’t kill any of your precious words. Herpes. You don’t write to become famous and sexually desirable. Common myth. Herpes. Sounds like an Olympian god or an expensive scarf, but it is not fun. You buy one of these plastic things grandpa has where you can store all the different pills that you have to take in a day.
Summer comes, and that is bad in Greece. Because you cannot work during summer there. The AC units work on some mysterious chemical that gives you constant diarrhea, the back pain improves but the sleep gets worse.
“Oh, so you slept at 3 am for one-hundred days in a row? At your age? That’s a terrible way to treat your body,” says “God”, your personal trainer.
More yoga and make no fun of it. You’re no tough guy to go to the gym and lift weights. None of that. You’re writing, you need yoga.
July 22nd, 2014. Everybody wants to get to the beach. Fortunately, you have finished the book. “Finished.” If you are an idiot or if this is your first book you might fall for that statement.
Come back for my next post: No pity for old, semi-rich, debut writers.