Friday, April 22, 2011

Making Yourself Write is Hard.

A writer's greatest enemy is herself.

(or himself. But you guys know what I mean, right?)

I'm talking about procrastination. Every writer knows it. When it's just you and the computer it's so easy to get distracted.

"Ooooh, that's an interesting news story... oh, I HAVE to read this blog post on characterization... ha, I just thought of a funny Facebook update... good grief, when did it get to be 5:00? I've got to get supper made..."

Sound familiar? It definitely sums up a good part of my life. Not that I don't do useful things online or otherwise (sewing! cooking! shopping! friends! school!), but if I don't prioritize my writing, it simply isn't going to happen. There will always be something important (or fun) that I can do instead of write.

I mean, face it. Writing can be intimidating. Even if you know you're not going to show your first (or third, or tenth) draft to anyone, there is still a pressure hanging over you. If you mess a scene up it might derail the whole story. Or why should you bother to write when you don't have your main character figured out yet?

These are perfectly valid concerns. But instead of ignoring them, you need to engage them. Maybe it's not time to write yet, but you need to think or discuss these problems until you've got them figured out.

Don't have a really valid excuse? Then it's time to write. No excuses. Shut down the internet, close the door, pull up that willpower and type out a scene. Maybe all you do is write for 30 minutes. That's still better than nothing. Some days you might be able to do more. And maybe some days you won't write at all. But you've got to do your best to do it.

It's hard. Really hard. I'm dealing with extreme fatigue in my life right now that makes it hard to do anything. Some days I can barely write on my low-key fanfic I'm doing with a friend, let alone my latest novel.

What I do know is that I feel a heck of a lot better about myself when I do manage to get some writing done. Even if it is only 30 minutes.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with this blog post more! It's hard, but it's worth it in the end.I know my biggest weakness is a tendency to overplan before starting to write...then the first draft tends to take its own turns anyway (usually ending up better than I planned anyway)

Writing scenes out by hand before attempting to type/edit on the extremely distracting computer is one strategy I use to make sure I write more.

I hope you feel better soon and that your fatigue lets up and you have some energy! *hugs*

Elaine J. Dalton said...

This is a good, encouraging post, yet I must disagree on one thing: writing is not intimidating.

At least, not for me! :D

But getting sidetracked is a regular happening around my house {everyone gets sidetracked around here, especially when there are chores or schoolwork that needs to be done ;)}. Still, writing for even a half hour is grand!

LadySo: I often write out bits {or more than bits ;)} of my stories by hand and then type it up later, editing as I go which often produces a fair draft. Do you remember reading my Elijah and Emra novel for the first time? I wrote that comepletely by hand then typed it up and several bits of conversation/scenes ended up in the typed version that weren't in the handwritten version. See, I surprise myself sometimes! :)

God bless and happy Easter!!!