Sometimes I have difficulty coming up with ideas for this blog. When I do, I start with my old blog posts to see if any of them spark ideas for new ones. In today’s case, I found one from almost exactly a year ago that sums up where I am now. AGAIN.
In November I was going gangbusters on my WIP. I kept up the progress for a couple of months and then . . . ppppfffttt. The motivation fizzled out. I think part of it came from the realization that, not only did I miss the Golden Heart deadline, but I would have to miss RWA. AGAIN. (big sigh) And part of it is, of course, life interrupted. So now I’m back living in the same place I was a year ago.
I live here. In Procrasti Nation. Actually, I live at the place pictured above. That is a picture from a couple evenings ago. Sunset on the hill. Where I live, we get days off when white stuff falls from the sky. Did I write? No, I did not. I read. I did the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, the mini crossword, Sudoku, and 4 levels of KenKen. I also cleaned things out. My New Year’s Resolution is to remove one thing from the house every day for a year. So I’ve cleaned bathroom cabinets, kitchen cabinets, closets, and freezers. I now have five empty drawers in the bedroom. In case any of you didn’t notice, I will point out to you that nowhere in the list of activities is the word ‘write’ except in the rhetorical question.
I am currently living in Procrasti Nation. Here are some funny comics about it (These 15 Procrastination Comics Are the Perfect Distraction). As if I need a distraction. And then I see our lovely 8LW Jeanne has her second book out: The Demon’s in the Details. She is not in Procrasti Nation. She is in full-on work mode. Writing/editing/preparing-to-publish the third in her series of quirky, fun, yet dark, paranormals. 8LW Nancy just launched her fabulous new series: Harrow’s Finest Five. I could go on down the list of how much my fellow 8LW are doing, but you get the idea.
I try not to be jealous. How can I be, really, when I have the opportunity and I contemplate a bath over the NYT Crossword and decide to shovel our ½ mile driveway by hand instead (not really – hired guy plowed, we shoveled cleanup). Plus, I’ve read their books and they are fabulous!
On a good note, my heron is back. I hadn’t seen him in a while – during the coldest months – but saw him the other day on my hike. Maybe that means my mojo is coming back. Here’s hoping.
So how does one leave Procrasti Nation for, uhm what would it be . . . oh yeah, writing? How do you bust out of writing lethargy?
I always love seeing your heron! We tend to see more bald eagles (including the scraggly brown, sad-looking juveniles) and egrets in our part of MD, but I’m probably just not looking in the right places to spot the herons.
As for progress, we all work at our own pace, and that is different at different seasons of our lives as well. I had my little mini-breakdown re: writing back in late December, and while I got back to work in January, it took about a month to really find my mojo. (And it still evaporates some days, like today, despite me having a serious deadline to meet.) And this is even with having stepped away from the day job nearly a year ago, while your day job continues. So, all this is to say, you’re staying connected through reading and blogging and writing when you can, and when you’re ready, the stories will still be waiting :-).
You’re right, Nancy. Thanks for pointing out that staying connected to my writing is at least one step in the right direction.
BTW, I love Mr. Alcott – sometimes scheming, often diabolical and occasionally delightful. What an awesome line!
I’m so glad you’re enjoying TCBH! I think of that line as Tessa’s falling-in-love-but-not-yet-realizing-it moment.😀
Of course she’s falling in love with that. Who wouldn’t? Well, I did.
I second what Nancy said. Be gentle with yourself. I’m not currently having any procrastination/motivation issues, but I’m having massive I-committed-to-too-many-other-things issues. Which, in turn, sap me of creativity and time.
I started with a different vision of H/H’s flaws and I keep hitting a wall at about page 150 where I can’t get that mid-point scene written.
The other night at a plotting group meeting, one of the members suggested I try retyping what I have so far on my manuscript. She suggested that retyping the whole thing, as overwhelming as that is, is a great way to finally thoroughly edit out the stuff that was and replace it with what should be there.
It can also be a way back into your manuscript.
Retyping the whole thing doesn’t hit me as as a way out of a writing block. Let me know how that goes.
I’m trying to be gentle with myself. I’m toying with going to the “In The Company of Writers” annual retreat which is the Washington Romance Writers conference held in my hometown. It’s tough to justify going when I’m not writing. Sort of a damned if I do and if I don’t – if I go, will it provide motivation or be a waste of money?
Sometimes the crossword puzzle is the only way to go. I remember the period when I sat down every day, wrote 500 words, and deleted another 1,000—except for the day when I deleted 5,000. Sometimes, the work just isn’t there.
On the other hand, while it’s pointless to try beating yourself into writing anything, I find for myself that it helps me get back into things if I sit at the computer every day and try at least to make a note in the outline or do some housekeeping, just so I keep the story in front of my eyes. Otherwise I forget everything I was doing or had meant to do. But this is just my thing.
Remember: it’s a process.
Good point, Kay. I haven’t kept the story in front of me and one of my procrastination reasons now is that I’m so far removed it will take some work to get back to it. I just need to pull the folders out (I’m old school and do a lot with paper and green [archetypal symbol of hope] gel ink).
Welcome, neighbor. 🙂
I have found that, if I really want to do something enough (e.g,. “write), then I’ll do it. Otherwise, I’m going to keep finding excuses not to do it, and so I’ll pickup up an book from my TBR pile or I’ll work on a jigsaw puzzle or I’ll . . . . . you get the picture.
The times I’ve really focused and made strong progress has been when I’ve decided that reaching a specific writing goal (e.g., getting a contest entry completed) is my highest priority. That’s how I successfully completed NaNo a few times, but I can’t sustain that kind of focus – especially with so many conflicting priorities.
I suppose that’s how I got through NaNo, also. I hear my old gymnastics coach in my head: “you gotta want it!!!”
Oh, I’ve got a little cabin in Procrasti-Nation, as well. And in the past few weeks, even cleaning has gone the way of writing . . . undone.
So, no, I haven’t got any ideas, and I won’t until April, probably. If then . . . . See, despair is the first enemy. So I need to stop thinking like that. Maybe I need to stop thinking at all and just take a nap. We’ve got so many little rewarding but useless activities to choose from these days. Sigh.
Wish you luck, wish me luck. And by the way, fabulous pictures! I love the colors of the sun on the horizon! The heron looks like he belongs on a Japanese woodcut! Lovely composition.
Keep in mind what Nancy told me – you’re staying connected and engaged in the writing world so when you get back to it, your brain has been thinking writing all along (that last part is what I tell myself).
The heron lets me get that close to him (or her). I should take it as a sign to get back to it.
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I go in and out. I went out big-time in December (we were traveling) and I’ve been out of it lately because we’re doing a major home renovation and that’s been occupying all of my time. But on the flip side, I redid my cover, which excited me, and I’ve made a commitment to my editor for April 15th, so I have to get my butt in gear.
You can try a couple things — make a commitment to a critique partner and stick to it. Or download your story to your Kindle/reading app and read it that way. That always motivated me to at least fix the parts that stuck out as bad when I read through it in a more leisurely way. Try entering contests, as Elizabeth suggested. Or, in the words of Elsa, just let it go. Your mojo will come back when it comes back.
It seems to me that the first-book hurdle is a big one. I’m taking forever getting over this wall. I could have finished it months ago, but I keep changing things. I think the fact that it’s a first book has somehitng to do with it. But maybe it’s just me. At any rate, I hope to vomit up the next 5 books in rapid fashion. At least sooner than 6 years. Because come August, that’s how long it’ll have been since I started McDaniel. *sigh*