living, writing

How to avoid writing…

Having one of those days?  You have to write, you have targets to meet but everything that comes out is just blah.. forcing it is like painting a fence in the rain.  But everything you know and have been told about writing is running on train carriages through your head:

you can’t edit a blank page

writing is hard work

it is better to write a 1000 bad words than nothing at all

and so on…..

The Cambridge dictionary defines Procrastination as: “The act of delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.”

I am not bored, I am willing to work hard but sometimes my brain feels fried, my writing bucket is empty and I have to leave it alone for a minute and find something else to do. I resist, I have my work cut out for my, a schedule on the board and a self imposed deadline.

I have written my 1000 words of crap today and I am done.  I am not waiting for the muse, I am waiting for the kettle to boil.  I have also done my ‘pages’. My crap is written for the day.  I have tried editing my WIP, but there is a glitch in the story that I am not up to fixing today so I have set about finding things I can do to avoid writing today:

  1.  Clean the oven – this is an old favourite of mine.  I can highly recommend Selley’s oven cleaner it is cheap, very toxic and quick to get your bake-house shining.
  2. Walk the dog.
  3. Take pictures of the dog and post her photos on Instagram.
  4. Clean your desk, take care of those niggly little things that you promised to get to later: school notes, bill payments, hotel bookings, twitter.
  5. Clean out your drawers – all of them.  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, kids rooms…
  6. Weed the garden.
  7. Plant a new garden, will involve a trip to the nursery so research plants and make a list.  May need ice-cream.
  8. Buy some books.  About anything, but maybe at least one about writing.
    • I see an opportunity here to re-arrange bookshelf to accommodate new books, maybe should wait until they are delivered?  or not?
  9. Sign up for an online course, about anything. Could be about writing though, it all helps?
  10. Plan an elaborate dinner even though no one will be home to enjoy it because it is a karate night and you will all  be eating subway for tea.
  11. Read something.
  12. Watch something.
  13. Listen to something, a podcast, an audible book?
  14. Take the dog for another walk if she comes out of hiding.
  15. Make dog an appointment to see the vet for a check up due to her hiding from walkies.
  16. Still have to check Facebook!  lets see what all our wonderful ‘friends‘ are achieving with their clever, ‘I am so good I am a writer skills!’
  17. Pluck your eyebrows while telling yourself that you are a good writer, you are just having a bad day.
  18. Put on something lovely but comfortable and take yourself out for lunch.  Pull out the note book you keep in your bag, that pen you got for your birthday, order your favourite meal, and breath while flicking through one of their old magazines,  it will give you something to focus on while you eavesdrop on the couple at the next table.
  19. Write up a new schedule for getting work done.  Laminate it.  Everything looks better when laminated.
  20. Take a nap.
  21. Read a blog?
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Why We Write…

Why do we want to write?  Maybe you don’t want to write and I am an arse for making an assumption.  I am currently editing my first novel, Allison.  Due for release in December 2019.  It is a love and suspense story with the necessary love, heartbreak, romance, raging psychopath combo.

Nanowrimo, is making its way around again. I have a new story burbling away waiting to be unleashed.  It will be my third run and nano and as impractical as it may be to commit this time, I simply have to.

Allison was my first and I think it is about time I let her out of the drawer, polish her up and set her free to make way for a new adventure           

“The Road to hell is paved with works in progress.” Philip Roth

type writer

George Orwell said “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.  One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

While I don’t think of writing as a painful illness, it is certainly an addiction.  I often think that I will be driven mad if I fail to squeeze out the opportunities to write around the edges of my day.  My days are busy, but so is  my mind.  What a failed life I will live if I do not write the stories I have inside, the ones to come and to one day dust off the ones forgotten.  Nanowrimo ensures that I take time to write, to meet the challenge, to expel the story.

The true discipline for me is what comes after, the slow seemingly unending process of editing.  I am giving myself four weeks to complete a comprehensive line edit on Allison before sending her off to an editor, while I kick on with Nano.

I am looking forward to Nano, to finding out about my characters, listening to them and seeing their lives, however briefly, take flight across the white screen.  The joy of watching my story unfold makes it all worth while.

Wish me luck!

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Scheduling Your Day for Writing… Simply.

Preparing:

Don’t try to remove obstacles- they will never be gone.

Do it first- even before you get dressed if possible.

Before the housework is finished. Take a leaf out of Sarah Millican’s book and just put the staff to work (dishwasher washing machine dryer) then ignore the housework.

Put your phone on ’do not disturb’ – Joanna penn has hers on do not disturb (me too but now and feels okay, friends have learned not to call me).

Make yourself a cuppa and write 45 mins and take a break, then do it again and again and again until you are done 🙂