This Writing Thing is Hard

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As we know, I did not reach my Camp NaNoWriMo word count goal, but I’m ok with that. Lately I have been writing in the mornings before I head off to work, getting about 500 words in. Well, yesterday and today that has not happened. I don’t know whats wrong with me, I’m just not feeling it. All I have wanted to do this week is sit on the couch with my book and pretend like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, it does, and I have to go to work, so it hasn’t been the quiet week I wish it could be.

That being said, I am determined to write tomorrow morning, and the husband is going golfing this weekend so I’m thinking I will take the Windows Surface, go sit in Starbucks, and write until I reach my weekly goal. Honestly, I am a bit scared about this next bit of my story, I’m worried it’s going to get away from me, but I also think it’s going to be the most fun to write. Pretty much, I’m just very unmotivated this week.

What are your tactics when you get into moods like this?

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21 thoughts on “This Writing Thing is Hard

  1. I make myself write through those moments by reminding myself that all I’m doing in a draft is laying down the groundwork.

    And if the characters take the story in a direction I don’t originally intend, I follow them and see what they have to say because I know, once the story is written, that I will be able to reshape any section of the story that doesn’t work quite the way I intended.

    As for motivation – over the years, I’ve found that the best motivation comes *after* I start writing, rather than when I’m thinking about what to write next. Once I get the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page out – that’s when my story takes hold and won’t let go. That’s when the words start to fly and the story becomes fun again.

    It’s the moments in-between scenes that I dread. Because I know, once I stop writing, the motivation will flee, and I will not want to start writing again. At the same time, though, I want to be back in the midst of that writing flurry, watching as the story comes to life around me.

    All we can do, as writers, is force ourselves to write the stumbling beginnings of scenes and hope that, as we put our words down, we will find our motivation within the stories we craft.

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    • I understand what you mean. I know as soon as I sit down and start typing I will get into a groove. It’s just the whole sitting down at the desk thing that seems to be the problem. I’m not foreseeing this as a long term issue though, it’s just a lazy kind of week.

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      • Sometimes the best boost to your writing is a new venue. You mentioned a Starbucks ;p

        When I am having days where the last place I want to write is at a desk, I go out to a restaurant or any other crowded, noisy place where I can drown out my own self-doubts and just write.

        On those days, I don’t use a computer. I take a notebook and write long-hand. I feel like writing that way allows me to connect more fully with my characters as well, and that helps ease the horror of lacking motivation.

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      • And Starbucks has the added perk of air conditioning! Writing longhand may be worth a try for me, I take notes that way, but I always write continuing with my manuscript on the computer. I’ll give that a shot this weekend though and see how I like it!

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      • Yes, air conditioning is a must when writing in public places (or heat in the winter!).

        I took a computer programming class last semester, and I found it interesting that most programmers sketch everything out by hand before they type anything up because “it makes the direction less set.”

        I.e. They sketch so they can keep their options open, whereas if they didn’t sketch, they’d get too attached to a particular direction and wouldn’t be able to change course when it was required.

        I adapted that view to long-hand writing, so now I write long-hand when I get stuck in a story or when I’m not sure where to start. That way, if I’m not satisfied, I can have the physical satisfaction of crumpling up the paper and tossing it in the trash.

        (Seriously, what writer doesn’t find the feeling of tossing paper in the trash after crumpling it up a great form of stress relief?)

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      • I couldn’t handle Hawaii – it gets too cold in NC in the winter for me to ever be able to live well in any area where the average winter temperature is over 70 degrees.

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    • I wish I had cute local coffee shops nearby, Coffee doesn’t seem to be a necessary to people in Hawaii for some reason. I just don’t understand so many things about this place. . .

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  2. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to let go of that fear that a scene will run away from you — If I have a scene like that I’ll sometimes open a new document to start writing — just in-case things go wonky and I need to cut the thing to shreds….
    And sometimes I also need to just give myself a break, take some time away from the story, in order to get re-motivated. I can’t write in the mornings (I’m a night owl by nature, and because of work my mornings are starting far earlier than I thought I could ever handle), so am trying to write when I get home at night…which is equally challenging! But sometimes I will sit down, stare at the page, and remind myself “this MUST get written.”
    I also agree with the others that a new venue can make a difference — on occasion just moving to another part of the house (or outside.. you’re in Hawaii, right? Outside seems like a nice place to write..)

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  3. Sometimes, I just ride it out. That’s currently what I’m doing. Other times, I kick myself in the butt until I sit the ffff down and get some words out, no matter how teeth-pulling it may be.

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  4. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
    I’ve experienced this feeling many times, as if I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of creativity and talent required to produce the story I have in my creative consciousness.
    When this happens, I force myself to sit down and just write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s not exactly where I wanted to start. Maybe it’s in the beginning of the section, maybe the middle, maybe the end, or maybe a different piece altogether. Once I begin, usually it comes to me.
    And remember that it’s a draft at this point. Editing and rewriting, although gut wrenching sometimes, always serve to help us rebuild or rework what didn’t turn out exactly as we expected.
    YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

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