One of the big benefits of visiting blogs is that you can think about writing problems in terms of someone else – and then you realize the same solutions apply to your writing problems. Somewhere I commented that I have a real problem with authority telling me what to do (the context was GPS navigation systems) when I realized that maybe this was at the root of my procrastination problems, too. My Girls are in rebellion against the Inner Censor.
I have to say, they are not completely unreasonable, my Girls. When I suggested that maybe there should be an inciting incident in the first few pages, they took to that well. Conflict was a harder sell, but they try. But the act structure and escalating nature of story? They’ve dug in their heels and refused to work with me and the Inner Censor on that. And the more the Inner Censor insists that this is the way things are done, they more they stick their fingers in their ears and go watch improv skits on YouTube.
This is heartbreaking. I *know* that the act structure works – I’ve seen very successful stories that use it well, and I’ve dragged through miserable stories (or stories that could have soared) that lacked a proper structure.
But I also know that in order to get better, I have to write. So, I’ve decided to give into the Girls, and just write. I wince when a Grand Wizard from Paris, France is introduced into the story by my protagonist’s granny. I cringe when scene after scene goes by without getting back to one of the main plots.
However, by loosening the reins, I’m writing again. And this isn’t NaNo writing – rushing straight ahead in a mad race to log in 2000 words each day. This is a more thoughtful writing where I pay more attention to saying things the way I want them to end up. I’m making slow progress, but at least I’m making some progress toward becoming a better writer at the paragraph level.
There are some other tricks I’m using to get back into the habit of daily writing, and I’ll share those as the month progresses. But the first thing to do about a procrastination problem is to figure out how to sit down and write. My Girls say, “Make it fun!” And by listening to them, I am writing again.