The results of my recent check up are in, and it's official: there is nothing wrong with me, I'm simply a lazy slacker.
That's disappointing; I was so looking forward to skiving off of work for a few months with Epstein Bar or something. But just because I've been pronounced healthily, don't think I've turned into a bundle of energy. I'm still sleeping too much, and still looking at the long lists of things I need to do and thinking, "Sod it" and going off to have a drink and a cigar. One thing if I enjoyed it, but I keep feeling guilty that I'm not being productive.
My slackerliness (is that a word?) and state of distraction has been highlighted by something uncharacteristically useful I just read in my September issue of Writer's Digest. It was an interview with Cory Doctorow, and in it he said, if you're going to write, then 1) write, 2) finish what you write, and 3) submit what you finish. As he pointed out, if you do those things, you may still never succeed, but if you are not doing all three of them, then you are not a writer, just a person who occasionally does writerly type things.
Write, finish what your write, submit it to an editor; everything else is gravy.
So I guess, at present time, I am not a writer, which is the most likely reason for my malaise. I need to shake off the distractions and get back to basics, which is producing stuff I can submit. Oddly, everything was fine until the book came out, then all of a sudden I'm writing web-posts and marketing material and taking on columns and not producing anything I can submit to a publisher.
So I had to make a choice: unfortunately, at this time in my life, I do not have room for both ventures plus a full-time job, so am I going to continue to attempt to become the Bill Bryson of the South, or take what little writing time I have and dedicate it to stories, novels and articles I can at least submit, if not publish? The answer was obvious. It's not as if I'm making any headway in my bid for fame, so cutting back on the expat shtick in order to get back to producing some serious writing was a no-brainer.
Then BBC calls. Would I like to do an interview on BBC Oxford? So now I'm back doing the "accidental expat" shtick and trying to think of ways to capitalize on this small success.
Here's one: Have a listen – set the time line to 32.
It's only good for a week, so check it out soon.