Writer with a Day Job

Here’s an interesting new book, “Writer with a Day Job”. I found it listed on the Writer’s Digest website and I thought that someone finally captured the reality of being an aspiring (or even published author). Through my trials as an aspiring writer, I’ve discovered that I’ll never be able to quit my job and write full-time. It’s a great fantasy to have but it’s not realistic.

The reality of being an aspiring writer is that I have a day job. I’m also a husband and a dad. Those are my priorities and not to mention taking care of a house (inside and outside). Whatever time is leftover, I try to write and that’s usually in the morning. I’ve had some success writing at night but lately it’s been tough. With a new job, my brain has pretty much cashed out on me by the end of the night.

That’s why I’m wondering if Aine Greaney’s book might provide some direction. I have a second child on the way in October and I’m a quarter of the way through my second novel. The challenge I made to myself was to have the first draft finished before then. I’ve stalled. Writing comes down to discipline, but if there are ways to work smarter not harder, I’m in.

I guess my other issue is that my creative energy get stalled from time to time. In addition to my writing challenge, I’m also on a weight loss challenge. Too many challenges? I hope not. I hoping that my improved waistline will fuel my writing, but maybe that’s where “Writer with a Day Job” can help. Here are a few takeaways based on what I’ve read so far:

  • Make the most of your writing time early in the morning or late at night.
  • Harness the power of your lunch hour for writing, editing, and revising.
  • Use your commute—driving or riding—to power your writing.
  • Plan the perfect writing getaway.
  • Set goals, revise your work, and share your writing with coworkers.

Any reviews on this book? Send them my way!

Thanks!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

After reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I decided to rent the movie. Turns out the movie is a huge hit, but not bigger than the book. The movie version was made in Sweden and I’m probably in the minority when I comment that it was just OK. The reviews on Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes are really positive so go figure.

I give the movie credit for trying to incorporate most of the book, but certain aspects of book are left out. If I didn’t read the book, I would’ve thought this movie didn’t make any sense. There are a number of plot gaps and underdeveloped characters. Moreover, a lot of back story gets lost. The Vanger family has a number of dark secrets but the movie only concentrates on Harriet. Despite all that, the movie clocks in at about 2-1/2 hours. If you haven’t seen the Swedish version yet, you might want to sit tight till December when the Hollywood version comes out.

What the movie does get right is the Lisbeth Salander character. She’s the best part of the book and definitely the highlight of the movie. The movie captured just what I thought the character looked like. There is some of her back story missing from the movie but enough that I didn’t feel cheated.

TGWTDT is second Swedish film I’ve seen over the course of a year. The other movie was Let The Right One In. I’ve commented on this movie and book in a previous post. As usual, I loved the book and the movie was just OK. Again, Swedish film making leaves a lot to be desired. By no means am I qualified to critique directors or actors, but these Swedish movies are…slow and dull. For some reason though they get great reviews. Why is that? What does the rest of the world see that I don’t? Maybe I’m just a product of Hollywood slick movie productions. Maybe my untrained brain can’t process Swedish art like others can. Or more likely my preference of the book outweighs any enjoyment I could have watching the movie.

Progress on my new novel has been slow. I haven’t written much over the last two weeks. It’s my fault – I let myself get too easily distracted. The Chicago Bulls are in the Eastern Conference playoffs, I’m focusing on my health, and other things I use as excuses but aren’t. I read on another writer’s blog that the difference between published authors and ones that are not is hard work. It’s obvious but it’s something I haven’t been doing.