On Writing

What Do You Want Next?

what is next for a writer

Click the arrow for a brief intro by Nancy [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://nancyhendrickson.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/what-is-on-your-plate.mp3″]
Before I went to bed last night I thought about all of the time I spend taking care of things that have nothing to do with writing. I’m sure you know what I mean: promotion, networking, planning . . . all of those non-writing things that most of us writers don’t really love.

It frustrates me to have so much on my plate because it doesn’t feel like it supports my inner journey of reflection, reading, jotting notes, or just daydreaming about the things I want to write. While the promotional stuff is critical, the rest (notes, daydreaming, etc) is equally important. How can we create without those moments of nothingness?

Since creating The 15-Minute Writer video course I’ve thought a lot about how much a writer can accomplish in a short time, particularly if there’s a commitment to consistency. Of course, one thought led to another and then another . . . and before I knew it I had put together the structure for a 30-day 15-Minute Challenge.

I still have a lot of work to do on it before it’s ready for primetime, but I’m already excited to get it out into the world. To be honest, part of my excitement is seeing just how much I can create once I commit to 15 minutes for 30 straight days. I’m thinking of revisiting last September’s attempt at fiction ! – but don’t hold me to it quite yet!

What’s on your plate right now?  Leave a comment.


P.S. About this time of year I start thinking about taking another history vacation. Here’s a brief piece I wrote about one of my favorite spots.


  • joel crawford

    I home school my 7 year old son, help take care of aging parents, take care of animals, wood carve, work on illustrations and… write. Although the writing often comes in last because its a slower process and doesn’t get priority over people. I’ve found that I write best in the mid to late morning but I’m often needed by my on at those time. I’ve got no choice. I write in the morning, with multiple interruptions, and do my best to stick to the routine and make it habit. I’m currently using my morning work time to do the illustration for a children’s book. So my writing is reduced to note taking for my next story. Even slow progress is still progress and I can be happy with that!

  • Nancy

    Joel – Thank you so much for your comment. Your life sounds so much like those of us who have many, many things to take care of. Right now, I’m in the process of getting my mom into assisted living, working for clients, and trying to write more books. I think what you’re describing is truly real life for most people – – and sometimes I think it’s a miracle that we get anything written!

  • Ed Kermode

    START — I’m struggling along stubbornly at the proverbial snail’s pace. I have got to the stage where I am afraid to have a free chunk of time available to me. I dread a spare three hours straight, because I know I am odds on to waste it on trivia, well away from the main game. The three hours can go something like this: first hour — start up the laptop; check to see if there are any new emails; investigate some/all; play my favourite game(s) on the laptop; second hour — try to work out where the heck I had got to yesterday with my book construction/input; shuffle assorted papers; begin filing some away; go off on some minor tangent, prompted by a random piece of paper and its contents; lose myself completely in some fascinating cul de sac, usually on the ‘Net; third hour — start to panic as I check the time and realise that yet again I have wasted two hours, away from that which is important (what was that you said, Mr Pareto?); start shuffling papers more furiously; decide to have a coffee break; return to laptop; repeat all/most of the above; give it all up as a sick and sad joke; but promise myself that I’ll do better next time; go have lunch/dinner or (as appropriate) go to bed with churning stomach and dulled brain, hoping that tomorrow doesn’t give me similar time opportunities to waste away; drift off to sleep in delirium, cursing the Pareto principle, the Internet, and the limitless information highway, upon which my figurative creative and organisational truck has run out of petrol, got a flat tyre, and blown a gasket; have nightmares about future chunks of available time; — [go back to START and repeat endlessly, until merciful death delivers me from this hell I am enjoying] …. Ed Kermode 24 April, 2015

  • Nancy

    Ed, I had to laugh at your comment because I know those days all too well! You know, sometimes I wonder if it takes a random spark that so beguiles us that we can’t help but sit and write and write and write. I have to confess, after 30 books and many many years of doing this . . . I’ve yet to experience that Nirvana!

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