Writing Waiters

There was an article that Wil Wheaton had referenced (in a post that I have already referenced before)… I had missed it when I read the first Wheaton post, but when he mentioned it again in his next post (and I actually saw it), I decided to take note…

Despite it taking a couple of days for me to get a chance to read it (holiday travels, and being away from a computer for a few days), the blog post that was referenced was actually quite good.

Waiterrant.net is written by someone who actually has a “day job” as a waiter. And he has written a book about some of his experiences. The post in question talks about the difference between blogging and writing a book. I believe the moral in his post is accurate – blogging and book writing are two different entities, and have to be juggled and handled differently.

One point that he makes is:
“I also discovered another truism — you can’t write a book and maintain a blog at the same time. If you try, one or the other is going to suffer — usually both. That was a lesson I had to learn the hard way.”

That is a very good point, and one that can also be taken with salt. Directly following the above statement, he discloses: “When I started my book I used the mornings to write about being a waiter, worked nights as a server in a restaurant, then spent the wee hours blogging about what happened during my shift. That would drive anybody nuts.”

Which I relate over to “priorities”. He goes on to say that he let blog posts slide while working on the book. I don’t know the specific timetable he was working in – the specific chunks of time spent each day on the book, his regular job and his blog posts. With that being said, there are several other writers – granted, they are “professional” writers – that do both (maintain a blog AND manage to write other stuff).

But it all goes back to priorities… if you want to write, you will figure out a way to make it work (self, pay attention here!). As a reader, I like being able to go to a blog and see something new (actually, it gets frustrating when someone doesn’t do an update, at least every couple of days – or at least go by a schedule “I’ll make new posts on X”). As a writer, though, I fully understand the “I can’t do it all right now” dilema (and still struggle with it, almost daily – hey, I’m human!), and can agree with his ultimate decision.

For focused, sustained creative output, it is sometimes best to go “off-grid” for a while. Based on his material (and the fact that it’s a life I can closely relate to), I plan on looking over his blog for a bit, and maybe get around to reading his book. When I do, I’ll probably be off-grid myself for a while…

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