Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Writing Thing

When I was writing my memoir I got into a schedule and was very good about sitting down every day and writing. This time around I seem to have spring fever. We don't really get spring down here, just a lot of dust, but that's what I'm choosing to blame for my lack of focus.

Granted, I have written on a regular basis since November so it's understandable if it takes some time to get back in the swing of things. What's crazy is I'm enjoying the writing process more this time around yet I can't seem to get my butt in the chair. It's possible my decision to write by hand is contributing to my hesitation (procrastination, whatever...) but once I finally settle down with my notebook the story streams out of me. I have more friends than I did last fall so my social calendar involves more than trips to the mercado, but I don't even feel guilty for not writing. Sure, I feel a twinge and tell myself I could've sat down for half an hour and been productive, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.

My cousin Jenna writes about putting herself on a schedule, and I know a few other writers who give themselves deadlines for word count or chapters. Perhaps that's what I need to get myself motivated. Writing by hand makes it more difficult to gauge word count and I don't want to start typing things in yet, but I suppose I can aim for 4-6 pages per day. I think that's about 1000 words, roughly the same daily goal I had for my memoir.

Do you have any tricks to keep yourself going?


spyscribbler said...

I'm in a three-day funk. I have no words of wisdom, I'm afraid. I don't know. I just get in the habit of going to Borders every morning, and then I have nothing else to do but write.

Except when DH isn't here. Then it's hard, sometimes, to get going in the morning. And then I feel depressed. So it's harder the next day. It's a ridiculous circle!

Melanie Avila said...

Yeah, I don't have anywhere inspiring to go to write. Since I'm longhanding it I could bring my notebook along but I get enough stares out in public - I'd hate to have to explain the writing, too.

colbymarshall said...

I'm in a horrible writing funk, too, spy. I feel like I can't get focused in to start my new WIP. I have vague thoughts with the semblence of a plot but nothing shaped. It's frustrating! But I am the type who can't force it, so in the meantime, I'll fill my time writing and reading blogs :-)

Jenna said...

Horrible funk here too. 1000 words a day keeps me going sometimes but I am 6000 words off schedule so not sure if it's keeping me going anymore :(.

And, I'm leaving for North Carolina Friday to visit my sister and nieces. We will be there for 9 days, my sister is moving into a new place so I will be helping and I have 3 nieces so a total of 5 kids underfoot (who haven't seen eachother since Christmas)...I know writing is going to be a very distant possibly.

Maybe I'll be lucky and it will get me out of my funk? Maybe I'll try squeezing in some long hand in chaos...see if that works :).

I guess all we can do is take the time away when we need to, when we must, and hope it rejuvenates us enough to go with gusto later :)...at least I hope.

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, welcome!

Jenna, the trip should be fun and you might be surprised and find inspiration amidst the chaos. Tell the family I said hello and give them my love. :)

Doreen Orion said...

A writer at a workshop I took over a decade ago said, "Writer's block is the fear of writing crap." He went on to say (and here I don't recall as well, so no quotes), so just write crap. Since then, I've written a lot of crap, but I've never had writer's block.