Ten weeks. I’ve done some writing every week for ten weeks!
That’s a huge victory for me. I used to write all the time, but the last six years have been sporadic at best. Writing fiction has become a habit again, along with writing articles for class and honing those skills.
At least 750 words three days this week, which is my goal. Yay!
I think the accountability of posting here ever week is keeping me motivated to make progress of some sort in my writing ever week. At least…it’s worked for three weeks straight now, so I’ll take it.
Tuesday, I worked my way through lesson 5 of HTWAN. I completed the worksheets, but I wasn’t super happy with my answers. I wrote 1,000 words or so on the accompanying draft, but the world just wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t making me happy.
Thursday, I opened the 3,000 words I had written for the original story idea and read through it. I was much, much happier with that draft. The flow felt more natural. Less stilted. So, I decided to return to my original story idea, and the Muse was happy with that plan.
Yesterday and today I wrote an easy 500 words both days. I still have only the fuzziest of ideas where the story is going—and I could easily be wrong—but the easy Southern fiction voice feels right.
Today, I’m looking for something to get me writing. Inspiration, motivation, some kind of cattle prod wired to my chair that zaps me if I get up…. You know, the usual.
I work best under pressure, or with “too much” to do. Something about knowing there are a ton of things that need to be done keeps me focused and allows me to get things accomplished. (A close friend once told me, “You get more done before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!” This is easier if your days routinely start at 3 a.m. I’m just saying…)
My new class—my first journalism class—starts tomorrow, and I’m moderately terrified (likely to upgrade to “completely”.). My job responsibilities changed last week, with the addition of an entire second location to do administrative tasks for. Then there’s the novel I’m writing, the one I’m actively revising, and the one I’m outlining. Not to mention the copywriting class I’m working my way through. And the book reviews that are due or past due. Blogging. I think you see my point.
While this would normally prove super-motivating and really keep me focused and on-task, sometimes, I have to fight a little bit harder to get inspired. (Hence this post instead of my first 500 words of fiction for the day.)
With that in mind, here are four things that might motivate you (and me) to write:
31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing, by Leo Babauta
A Writer’s Inspirations, by Shea
10 Tricks For Getting Inspired to Write, by Jonathan Morrow
At the beginning of the year, I set quite a few goals for myself (not resolutions). Eight goals in each of three separate categories, one being reading and one being writing. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how I’m doing on those goals, since we’re halfway through the year.
|1) Read GWTW.
|2) Read 1 book per month from TBR.
|3) Read all books on AWR list.
|4) Read one classic per month.
|5) Read one book of poetry.
|6) Read 2 books per month to review.
|7) Read one inspirational book per month.
|8) Read 75 books.
I haven’t read any of Gone with the Wind since January, so I better get on that. I have read one book each month from my TBR pile. I successfully read all of the books on the reading list for my American Women Writers class. I have read a classic per month. I have not read any poetry. (Oops.) I’ve read and reviewed at least two books each month. I’ve read at least one inspirational book each month. And I’ve currently read 69 out of my goal of 75 books.
|1) Finish Witches HTRYN.
|2) Finish 1st draft of Siren Song.
|3) Finish 1st draft of The Fall.
|4) Start Camelot.
|5) Revise Casting Shadows.
|6) Finish copyediting classes and start making money at it.
|7) Have 500 followers on this blog.
|8) Have 200 followers on my personal blog.
I’m still working on the revision of Witches. Siren Song is outlined, but I stopped working on it, and started writing on The Fall again. No progress on Camelot. No progress on Casting Shadows. I’m still working on the copyediting classes. I’m still chipping away at the blog goals.
Verdict: I’m doing okay on my goals, but I need to get it together and get on all of them!
When does not-writing become a thing of “because I don’t feel like it” instead of “because I have a thousand other things that have to be done”?
When does my brain stop making excuses and get itself together and get my body in front of the keyboard?
When is “tired” no longer a valid excuse for not getting things done (things besides writing)?
When will I learn that I can’t do everything I’d like to, not and give each thing the attention and focus it deserves?
When will real-life have-to’s stop interfering with my writing time? (Looking at you, last-minute work meeting on my day off.)
When will I finally beat my tendency for procrastination? (Which eventually becomes active self-sabotage.)
When will people finally understand that “I can’t, I have writing to do” does not mean “Sure, I’m not doing anything anyway”?
When will my brain finally give me an outline for The Fall, so the actual writing part feels less like wandering around with a blindfold on?
When will I finally overcome this stupid mental block/laziness and sit in my chair and actually WRITE?
I’ve kind of been struggling to get words on the page lately. (Ironic, since it’s summer, and time off from classes was supposed to mean time to write…) I switched WIPs, from Siren Song (which is currently outlined) to The Fall (which..is not. Not even remotely outlined. Sigh…)
I’m just having some trouble getting myself motivated.
But I saw this post over on Ana Spoke’s blog, and it piqued my interest (Is that even the right word? Google did not help me at all here.)
Has anyone used Scrivener? Any tips/suggestions/thoughts?
This week, I’m on Spring Break, so technically I shouldn’t be doing homework. And I’m not doing a lot, but I’m doing some. Working on an essay for grad school. Outlining the short story that is my final paper in my capstone English class. Reading.
Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
Here’s what I’m supposed to be reading this week:
- simplify, by Bill Hybels (for my monthly reading goal): 10 pages a day
- Against All Things Ending, by Stephen R. Donaldson (monthly goal): 30 pages a day
- Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (for school): 35 pages a day
- The Coquette, by Hannah W. Foster (for school): 20% on 5 days
- 2 chapters in Connected: living in the Light of the Trinity, by Sam Alberry (for school)
- 2 chapters and the introduction in Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism, by Douglas R. Groothius (for school)
- The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever, by Jeff Strand (reading to review)
You see my problem? I love to read. I’m a quick reader. But….I’m where I’m supposed to be on #1 and #4. I intend to catch up on #3 and #2 today, and start #5. That leaves me #6 and #7 for…sometime.
I finished up the outline for Siren Song in January, and then promptly didn’t write a word until… late February. My “goal” (which I frequently find myself ignoring) is two 500-word sessions a week. I can remember writing 10,000+ words a day for NaNo years ago, so 500 words twice a week should be ridiculously easy. Should be.
As it turns out, actually making myself sit down and write is almost impossible. But this morning, I made that my first priority, and wrote 1,000 words.
Not setting any records with that, but I’m thrilled with it.
I also started outlining my final project for my capstone class, which is a short story based on the mythos of Camelot. I’m actually looking forward to writing it, and using it as backstory for when I start writing the Camelot project sometime in the future (because my Muse gave me a fantastic idea with that months ago).
How is the Muse performing for you?
This week has been plenty busy. Craziness at work (which should soon be resolving itself in a very positive way.). Trying to get everything for the first week of classes done, as well as the reading done for the second week (Just about have that complete.). And perhaps I should pack sometime today, since I’m leaving for Atlanta tomorrow. Perhaps…
However, HTRYN Lesson One is going well. Sort of. It’s a bit depressing, but I should finish the first pass through Witches today. I’m seeing a lot of the same issues. Being aware of them is the first step to fixing them, right? (Here’s hoping.) I’m seeing a lot of telling-not-showing, and there’s more distance from my characters than I’d like. I do have an idea about fixing one issue that’s been bothering me somewhat for a long time, however.
I’m also less than five scenes from finishing the outline of Siren Song! I’m really happy about that, even if it’s not the greatest outline ever. I’m hoping there will be less wandering about with an actual outline to work from. (Knowing my tendency to get distracted, I’m almost positive that will be true.)
I’m off to finish things up so I can enjoy my sort-of-mini-vacation!
How is not writing inspiration to actually get words on the page? Well….
I set weekly writing goals, as a way to keep motivated. But, let’s be honest, work, school, and frequently sleep come before writing. This results in me feeling guilty and leads to resentment. Which makes me less likely to actually want to write, if things do not go according to plan or even remotely according to plan).
If I’m feeling guilty because I didn’t get my words in on Monday or Wednesday, then I feel like I have to make up those words today, and I just don’t have time for that many words. So I resent the prospect and end up not writing today, either.
However, if I give myself permission to not write whenever it’s necessary, without the idea of having to make those words up, then that instantly makes my brain less stressed. Which means I actually feel like writing.
Does this make sense, or am I just making excuses?