The Magic of Multiplicity: JD Estrada
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As an indie author who also has a day job, a lot of people have asked me where I find the time to work on my projects and how I’ve been able to publish the books I have with the schedule I keep. The one word answer I can offer is that I focus my energies to always be in a state of “flow”.
Writer’s block may be a thing that happens but I’ve worked hard to avoid it by working on several projects simultaneously, something that a lot of people recommend against but I swear by. Here’s the thing, do you love pizza? (Odds are yes because you’re human; although we all have the right to like what we like in case you DON’T love pizza, and I’m sorry you’re missing out, replace pizza with one of your favorite foods. Ok. Got it? Let’s close this parenthesis before I further embarrass myself). Then ask yourself, could you or would you eat pizza every day? Odds are massive that by the end of the second day you’ll be good and NEED something else. Well sometimes writing is the same.
I am always working on several things to make sure that what I’m working on motivates me. I build on each project sometimes bit by bit, other times chunk by chunk, but the reality is that I’m always working.
For May I’m working on several projects, a YA novel about a boy who dreams about flying, a sci-fi novella titled Natural Intelligence, and two poetry collections.
Firstly, why two poetry collections rather than consolidate in one? I often write based on moods and feels and sometimes you can see a pattern and with every poetry collection I release, I try to adhere to a music album mentality. Part of the beauty of the collections is figuring out which poems to include and then it’s deciding on the “track listing” so to speak and that’s a whole other blog post. But think about it, have you ever heard an album that would have benefitted from a better sequence of the tracks? Same with poetry collections.
Might I also add that I’m working on finishing the second volume of my short stories titled the Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore? Oh and I also have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, a blog, and Booktube/AuthorTube (Basically Youtube) and I’m active on all of them. Why do I do so many things? Because I want to flow. I want anything I’m working on to get my full attention and what eventually happens is that one demands more attention. Either I feel I need to finish something or a story/project demands more attention because I get into a groove. I also play guitar and sing, btw. So I’m also working on that and should have 3-4 new songs on youtube within the next two months.
Some people might say all of this is madness but there’s a question no one asks because they’re focused on asking “when do I sleep?” The reality is that I sleep pretty well and average about 6 hours a night. What no one asks ever is if I get bored. And the fact is, I NEVER get bored. Being bored to me is a choice and the result of poorly used time.
So what if I’m not in the mood to write? Does that even happen? Well on occasion it does. That’s when I read or doodle or work on some random project or watch Netflix or go to the movies or go for a walk. The idea is to always be engaged with something creative and something that’s fun, and I achieve that often even if it’s not always fun. Sometimes I browse all the emails for petitions to sign, sometimes I read the news (but not too much because I’m not craving depression), and then there’s the talking. Simply put, I talk a lot. Blame mom, Cuban/Puerto Rican genetics, or what have you, the reality is that I talk and write a lot and am always in touch with friends from around the world.
And if you see all of this, you basically notice I have an activity for any free moment since my job also demands a lot of hours. What does tend to happen is that I run into fatigue and I’ve grown WAY better in identifying the signs of fatigue and the difference between being near a second wind and being near getting run down, and I respond accordingly.
In short, though, my method to madness is to use that childhood energy and ADHDness and running with it. If I want to work on something 10 minutes then switch, I do. If I’m engaged and would rather give a project a full day, I do. I go to the rhythm of my mind and that varies but I always do my best to gravitate to what will make me smile, be it a youtube video, a song, a poem, a blog post, an email, a chat, a walk, a surf, world building for future projects, or working on current projects. The name of the game for me is “flow” and it has repeatedly brought me joy, satisfaction, and new definitions of happiness and success. And call me crazy, but I think it could work for other people.
So until next we ramble, may you write up a storm and smile all day.
Peace, love, and maki rolls.