Writers write

Sometimes writing is like pulling teeth. You clear out your requisite two or three hours of you day, you make sure the room is warm or cool enough, the tea supply plentiful enough and all your housework is complete so it won’t nag at the back of your mind…

And then you stare blankly at the screen for the next two hours. You are unable to squeeze out a word, more importantly, the next word. The word that will lead you to the next sentence which starts the next paragraph that takes you effortlessly into your next 1,000 words. And no matter how many false starts you make, that word eludes you for your entire writing break.

Don’t panic!

Maybe all those false starts needed to happen. And if there were none, I can promise you the thinking around what should happen next DID need to happen. It also sends a message to your subconscious mind that you need an answer, so could it please go off and work on it while you do other things.

This time is never wasted, but it does prove one point which I learned a long time ago, but still do not heed; you need to give yourself more chances to sit and not write.

You need to make writing a priority. A couple of hours every Sunday morning is not going to cut it if you want to do more than short stories. You need to say no to the needy partner, to the social invites, the dirty floor, the Master Chef inspired dinner for friends, and most importantly, to the TV. Explain what you are doing and you might just find they support you. Well the TV won’t support you, but its complete indifference should indicate where you are in the TV’s priority list (the floor will always support you, dirty or otherwise).

And right there you have the difference between those who write, and those who want to write. Writers write.

3 thoughts on “Writers write”

  1. I found that writing first thing in the morning has been most effective, at least for actually getting words written. As to the quality, not so sure. It basically makes it the main priority for the time, and before I can distract myself with anything else. Of course I am lucky enough not to have too many early starts so maybe it’s not an option for everyone, but I do like think I’d try and wake up an hour or 2 earlier to fit in writing time if I had to.

  2. Yeah, I agree. I’m trying to tell myself to write in the mornings before work. It’ll mean a really early start, but if I can drag myself out of bed, before anything else distracts me, it has proven in the past to work really well.

    I’m finding the evenings after work a real challenge. The TV is I admit the main problem. I switch it on for ‘an hour’ but then really struggle to switch it off again! I never used to have this problem, so I’m trying to figure out what’s changed. It doesn’t help that I’m also trying to fit it half an hour on my elliptical trainer, which throws everything out!

  3. I think the two of you are right, the mornings are the best. I find on weekends if I go straight to the computer when I get up I can get lots done. Ellen, I’m having the exact same problem as you with the TV at night, and I can’t explain why I don’t turn it off, I don’t even enjoy most of it! And even when I do turn it off I fall asleep anyway! At the moment I’m getting up at 6am to get to work early enough, so I just can’t bring myself to get up earlier in winter. Summer is a different story, but it is still a little way off yet.

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