So I’d Rather Be Writing…

Post Date: January 26th, 2013

With my nose running down my face, I gathered kindling today for our wood stove. It was a bitter cold for this California girl, twenty-something degrees, so I snapped sticks with a vengeance and got my freezing self back indoors as soon as possible.

Photo by Steve Ohlsen

Don’t feel sorry for me–it wasn’t a Little House on the Prairie moment, as in the endless blizzards of The Long Winter. But I did tell myself I felt virtuous and outdoorsy, meditating on why I needed to be doing this very thing rather than writing.

Most days, I’d rather be writing or doing something related to it, as the self-publishing world now demands. When you choose to go indie, you learn quickly that you must not only keep to a writing schedule for your big projects but also craft

  • promotional emails
  • social networking status updates and profiles
  • articulate specs to the designers for covers and formatting 
  • accurate profiles on retail platforms
  • succinct, clear emails to contract workers
  • effective press releases
  • and much more writing I haven’t yet discovered.
But the fact is, if I’m not actually creating new pages for a novel or short story, I feel like a fraud. So I had to tell myself as I snapped sticks and swiped at my nose that every little thing counts–like warming the house so I can sleep well tonight–or editing a profile on Amazon. 
There’s a time to write, and there’s a time to publish. And if you choose to become part of that 287% rise in self-publishing since 2006, or that 1.5 million books published per year (and rising), you’ve got to take that time. As Dan Blank says so eloquently in his post, “Should Writers ‘JUST’ Write,” connect with your readers if you want to get read, using all your writing talent. And that’s not just through your books. 
Now the wood stove roars with its fat chunks of wood and hot-orange coals, sprung to life through all those dry sticks I found. The little bits start something big. It’s only me that can start this fire.

My collection of short stories, The Flat and Weightless Tang-Filled Future, is available on Amazon. It’s viewable on Kindle, and with the free Kindle app on iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android.  


  1. DF says:

    Your mention of The Long Winter made me think of Robert Lawson’s The Tough Winter, which I read as a California boy who saw snow once in his childhood. A beautifully crafted book about a group of animals toughing out the freezing season that inspired me in my writing.

  2. The Long Winter inspired me, as did The Little Princess and other tales of girls toughing it out. It made me appreciate what I had and realize that people could be heroes in all kinds of places.