I’m Almost Ready to Write Again


I have a three-ring binder sitting on my desk with about sixty pages of plotting, characterization, and outlines for the next story I plan to write. It took me far too long to put together, but the story is basically ready to be written now. I’m not ready to do that writing.

I’m in school still. It’s my last semester before I have my Associate’s and I may or may not go on to a four-year college after this. I don’t really have the motivation to set aside time for homework and then write. It just doesn’t work for me.

Sure, I did NaNoWriMo 2014 during what was my most busy and stressful semester of college, but that’s because I got really good at making daily goals for myself at the time – do a little homework, write 500 words, go back to homework, and so on. Once the semester ended, I became more lax, and I haven’t felt the compulsion to go back to such a way of living. A lot of my classes now are writing intensive, which means they’re easy and at times fun for me. Plus, Film Appreciation hardly feels like a class at all.

But! save for the novel I finished back in January (which I haven’t mentioned out of embarrassment) I haven’t done much writing. Scratch that, I’ve done plenty of writing, but it’s been all planning and no actual prose – that 60 page notebook I mentioned totals about 20,000 words, and I still have a little more planning to put into it.

And then there’s my job.

I’ve been a lifeguard for ten years. By some standards, that makes lifeguarding my career. But it doesn’t feel like one. I work with high schoolers and the small bit of respect that I get has been hard-won. I like my high school coworkers, but some of them are actually a decade younger than me, and I feel like being surrounded by them has stunted my maturing as a person, which might not be the case if I worked with people of my age or older.

After some incidents that have made work a little less fun (and believe me, lifeguarding can still be fun) I decided to redouble my efforts to get a job in a writing field. Only problem, I don’t have any credentials. And writing a book to make money is a sure way to spend a lot of time not making money while busting my ass just to finally start making some money. And unless my first book is a runaway success, I’m going to have to turn right around and write three more books before I can start counting my income as reasonable(-ish).

So, I put together an ePortfolio, mostly using some posts I did for a college Journalism course, and all my efforts now are going toward getting a job writing for a paying website. This may mean getting a summer internship in Washington D.C., but I kinda lucked out and probably have a place to stay for the summer if it comes to that.

I really think I might have a chance. If nothing else, I have the drive. Writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and at this point I’ll do whatever it takes to reach that goal. The next novel I write will be awesome, but I want to make sure that I can call myself a writer first, by proving that I can make it into the field. Plus, school will be over after next week, so there’s that.

Wish me luck.


About David Shank

David T. Shank is a writer, runner, and musician, in that order. His blog is hopefully an oasis among the vast ocean of negativity that is the Internet. He lives in Cleveland studying how to write good.

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