Bill sets down his second coffee cup, rubs his eyes in the early hours of the morning and starts on his blog. In it, he declaims world hunger, the war in Afghanistan, greedy corporate types and the malaise among readers who were still migrating over to TV, twittering and texting, and leaving the printed word in the dust. East week he writes the same article with variations on the theme. “Stick to the core message” was what he had been taught at Writer’s School.
On his third coffee, he opens his query letter template, scans the agents he has targeted from the week before, there are five left in his list of 45. He cuts and pastes, adds the customary links to his website and blog, attaches the standard chapter of his novel which is so well edited for grammar and punctuation that it has lost its spirit, and puts the three envelopes in the mail tray – later he will take them down to the post office, where he has become a regular.
Then he enters his standard five short story contests for the day, all sourced from the internet the day before. Each has a differing word length and he picks from his 500 word, 1500 word, 2500 word, 5000 word and 10,000 word stories, depending on the rules for application. Today’s contests have higher entry fees, $50.00 in some cases, instead of the customary $15.00.
After a lunch of bread and butter, washed down with more coffee, Bill get onto his social networking sites where he has to maintain his presence: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon and a few new ones that are sent to him daily via his “network”. He comments on the various online forums, where he is reputed to carry a heavy stick and is known for his literary flair, always ending by listing his website address. He sources more contests for entering tomorrow.
By 2pm he is dozing in his seat – time for his nap to re•charge the brain cells.
He wakes with a start – it is 3.30pm – he has really dozed off. The sun is warm outside and the skies are blue. It is time for a walk down to the beach, where he could blow the cobwebs of sleep away and find out if any grains of inspiration have been planted during his temporary visit to Dreamworld. He returns at 4.30pm after a brief stop at the post office, having found no grains other then the grains of sand sticking to his shoes after walking the beach.
Time to write my three pages a day. He dives into it with gusto. He is writing this crime novel in which he does not like the heroine, she just sort of came to him from that Dreamworld place. So halfway into his writing he gives her a cancerous tumour and sends her off to hospital, while her husband has wild sex with his administrative assistant on the office couch. Feeling vindicated, Bill ambles off into the kitchen and fixes himself a tuna sandwich.
Now for that grant application. Bill hates begging for money, but he needs it – he has not sold any work in six months, the last being a freelance journalistic article. His only published novel never made the top ten, and sank into oblivion soon within three months of its launch. His publisher never called him back.
At 9pm, Bill yawns – it’s been a long day. Time for bed. Tomorrow he will repeat the cycle. Eventually, something will give. Spoiler alert: Wannabe Writers – this could be you!