Monday, December 01, 2008

Writing when you don't want to . . .

This is one of those things you offer up to the gods of professionalism. Writing when you don't want to. Well, actually you do it for the good of your career (published or not), but don't let the gods know I went there 'cus we all know what a fickle bunch they can be.

So in sickness, health, gorgeous days, rainy days that lull you into clean sheets and soft down matttress pad, and days when you just can't think of a damn thing to write -- write anyway. Even if it's crap. Even if you know before the first word hits the page that it's all going to be a huge, steaming pile of rhino poo. Write the poo. Trust me on this. Write. The. Poo.

Sure, days come up where ::ahem:: poo happens, we need to take off or just need a nice day outside to enjoy. And it's okay to give yourself permission to do so. As long as you get back on track. Or guess what? The next day it's harder, and the next, and the next . . . And before you know it two weeks have gone by.

It's like changing your eating habits or working out. Writing is a habit you must maintain. It (and the muse) won't always maintain itself. This is self-employment, self-discipline at its toughest. You are your own boss. You set your own hours and breaks and time off. And it's so, so easy to turn a one day break into a three day break into a three month break.

I get so much done when I stick to a schedule. And I have noticed over the years when I do allow myself long breaks of no writing, it's tougher every single time to get back into a routine again. And writing when I feel like it is no longer an option. So, it's back to structure and will power, and daily page count offerings to the gods for me!


Jax Cassidy said...

You must be reading my mind because you always discuss the topics I've been thinking about. You are so right about Writing The Poo. I force myself to write when I know I have to get it done. Otherwise, I'll be such a procrastinator who will stress at the last minute.

Tia Nevitt said...

Great advice. I've learned that when the story comes to a stall, there's something wrong with the plot and it's time to get out the thinking pen.

I tend to slow down on writing while I'm querying. I do have my little notebook where the plot for Starcaster book 2 is taking shape, but I have yet to type a word.

K. said...

LOL, Jax. Yeah, procrastinator is my middle name. :-/ Trying to change that!

Thanks, Tia! I did that, too, actually (slowing down on the writing while querying). The query process for me kept me in the mix/mindframe of writing, so it was easy to work on something else after that or work on plotting another book.

LeeAnn Flowers said...

My problem is that I've changed jobs, complete with a change of hours, and that has wrecked the semi-routine I had before. Now I'm having to beg, borrow, and steal little moments to write. Also, having kids in middle and high school, they tend to absorb time that I thought I had. Part of me can't wait until the boy starts driving next year. (Shudder. On the other hand, maybe I can.)

I have at least one book in the works and it's so frustrating when I try to find a moment to write and have to field the guilt from the rest of the family, who deserve time with mom/wife.


K. said...

I hear ya LeeAnn. The time conflict with the family is always an issue with us, too. I had a great schedule before my son was born, and now it's still hard to get into a routine b/c he's growing and his nap times are constantly changing (or it seems that way).

He's so attracted to pencils and pens and anything technological, too, so anytime I open the laptop or work on the neo, he's like a insect to a bug zapper . . . :-)