prioritize your writing projects

Somewhere around July last year, I’ve started my blog. The first idea was to publish one article per week when I have enough time to write. Usually, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when I have my days off at school.

Then, I’ve started to follow Seth Godin, and he inspired me to think about daily blogging. I thought, well, if he can do it, why shouldn’t I do it.

So, that’s exactly what I did; I started to write and publish blog posts every day.

At first it was easy, but then it got more complicated.

I’ve got more classes at my school, because summer is the busiest season for English training centers in China which resulted in being more tired but I didn’t give up.

I was getting up earlier than usual to accomplish all my tasks but I couldn’t get up each day on time because well, I’m a human too.

The biggest problem occurred when I had to choose between blog and fiction writing; I would have always chosen blog because I promised myself that I would publish daily.

Seeing a new post, getting new readers, subscribers and claps on Medium became more and more enjoyable but at the same time my fiction writing was suffering.

The more I delayed second draft the more difficult it became to continue writing.

But that wasn’t the only problem. Sometimes, I didn’t know what to write in my blogs, so I would write short, lousy post, but I would still feel happy for publishing something. The publishing game became the biggest priority in my writing.

I can’t blame this entirely on Mr. Seth. He inspired me to do something extraordinary. The problem was entirely in my inability to properly prioritize my writing projects.

I am, I and always was a fiction writer. That’s what I enjoy the most. When I’m in the zone, and writing, you could just hear the sound of my keyboard and there is nothing that could kick me out of that world; or at least I thought there wasn’t.

While I thought I am a fiction writer who happens to write blogs, it turned out to be that I was a blogger who thought he was a fiction writer.

Not that I didn’t enjoy blogging, but that’s not what I want to be my one and only occupation.

Foremost, I want to be a novelist who could also teach the arts and craft of fiction writing and the business of publishing to the next generations of writers.

The less I wrote fiction, the more depressed I became, and it reflected on my blogs. I would often write about writing blocks and I would try to motivate others while I couldn’t get myself to write that damn novel.

During the Chinese New Year I decided to translate and publish one of my old short stories. It was then when I realized how much I miss fiction writing, world building, hanging out with my crazy characters, being in their skin, feeling their emotions and also copy and line editing.

If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I’ve vanished for some time. In case you worried, I’m not dead, or ill or anything like that. I simply needed some time to put myself together.

I sat down and I asked myself:

What do you really want? If there is only one thing in the world which I could do for a living, what would it be?

The answer was obvious:

To write novels.

Since my actions were in correlation with my desires, the next question was:

Why aren’t you doing that? Do you really want to write novels or to write blogs? You enjoy both, but you will have to choose only one to be your top priority.

And I chose, I chose fiction. Fiction isn’t just writing, it’s also reading, studying the craft and studying the masters. It requires a lot of time and energy.

I didn’t give up blogging. Instead, I set a realistic goal. Write one blog per week.

Perhaps one day, when I become a full-time author, I would go back to daily blogging, but now, when I have a job, and a family, when I’m trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it seems impossible to publish daily, high quality blogs; it’s even difficult to publish mediocre one.

If you’re in the similar situation, and if you’re also struggling to write a novel, ask yourself what is getting in the way between you and your finished manuscript and try to eliminate that obstacle.