ESPN has a well-known radio show called Mike & Mike in theMorning. The show is hosted by sports anchor/reporter Mike Greenberg and former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic.
One of the items the duo often discusses is the decision-making process of professional franchises. Per Golic, many decisions come down to one thing: Butts in Seats. Well-run franchises ask themselves what will put fans in the seats on game day and then they usually do that.
It is with that thought in mind that I think of my favorite avocation: writing. I’ve long harbored a desire to be published. With two completed manuscripts, one with several publishers and the other hidden under my bed, I take writing seriously. Two manuscripts is a good start, but in the world of becoming an author, it’s only a start. I have to keep going. I have to write more.
As most writers know, there’s only one way to write more, and it’s a sentiment Mike Golic might appreciate. It’s called BICHOK. BICHOK stands for Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. If a person thinks he/she could “write a book,” talking about it doesn’t help. He/she must sit down, block out everything else, and produce.
It’s not the easiest thing to do. There are more important things in life than writing. I have a wonderful wife and two amazing kids and my primary purpose in life is to be a good husband and father. Doing that requires that I focus on my day job to make sure my family is taken care of as well as being there to attend football and baseball games, help with homework, and, most importantly, just listen.
Still, writing is a part of who I am. I try to write every day if I can, making time because I want to do so. People might think it’s crazy to try to write when one has a job and a family. However, I know a lot of successful writers. Most of them have day jobs. Most have families. Yet, they get published because of BICHOK. They find time to write.
For me, I’m lucky if I get 500 words written in a day. Often, the words aren’t great. However, it’s just me trying to get a story down. Once the words are out of my head and on the page, I can edit them. Five hundreds words isn’t much, but it accumulates. Over the weekend, I wrote “The End” to a new rough draft, my third manuscript. It’s about 85,000 words. In other words, it’s about two weeks short of writing 500 words per day for six months. In its current form, the story stinks and will need major revisions before I'm willing to send it out. However, at least I have a framework to begin the revisions, which is good as I have to pitch the idea to a publisher sometime in May, presenting the entire idea in 100 words or less.
Butt In Chair. Hands on Keyboard.
I’ve already started my next manuscript. My goal is to another completed rough draft before the end of the year. I also plan to edit the manuscript I just finished into something presentable.
Wish me luck.
The writer of this blog is currently participating in SpeedBo, a sprint writing event run by a group of inspirational writers at a blog called Seekerville. For writers and readers, there are wonderful prizes being given away every week through the month of March. Click here to check it out.
For those seeking time to write, Author Kelly Stone has a wonderful book called Time to Write. It will help any writer find more time in his/her schedule.