It has been a while since my last post. My bad. I got really busy. Wanna know what I was busy with?
Nothing. Yeah, that’s right, nada, zip, zilch, et al. I’ve been doing absolutely nothing during the Month of February and much of March. No blog. No pages. No workshop. No progress. No catching up on sleep Arguably, I didn’t even have a social life. I must confess that I surrendered to a classic case of writer’s apprehension.
Most of you know this to be writer’s block, but I don’t really believe in that. Writing is writing. Writing is not anything else. Screw the stereotype. Writing means inebriation. Writing means waiting for inspiration. Writing means finding a muse. Etc.
Thinking this way will not get your project finished. But, I have ten suggestions for things that can. Mind you, I am an amateur who has yet to finish his own project. Though I am a sinner against my own personal belief system, I have some valid tips that can help you get out of that nasty writer’s pit that we all tend to fall into.
The first five aren’t directly related to writing.
- Get some sleep.
- Eat well.
- Clean your room.
- Declare and arrange you finance expenses.
The second five are a bit more familiar.
- Write everyday. We all tend to reach for the stars in an effort to motivate ourselves. Six hours a day or Gee, I have four hours after work. I’m gonna use it for my novel. And this is all well and nice until we sit on our asses until the godless hours of the night, with nothing but a heading and “Chapter One” typed out. Set realistic goals and then write everyday. Attach no adjectives or extra adverbs to that. Write everyday. don’t think about “writing alot” or “writing for a long time” or “writing the best.”
- Remember that 2 hours is better than nothing. 1 hour? Better than nothing. 30 minutes? Better than nothing.. 15 minutes? Better than nothing. 5 minutes? You get it. Any writing, is better than not writing. If anything, give yourself time to be immersed in your thoughts. If you life only permits 10 minutes, relax. You’ll make up the time. It’s everyday, or nothing. Missing a day is DANGER
- Don’t Talk, Just Write. That’s pretty self-explanatory. The 90 – Day Novel by Al Watt really does a good job of hammering this home. Talking about your unfinished novel isn’t cool. Finishing your novel is. Aspirations are nice, but action is better. You aren’t supposed to be doing this to impress anyone. This is your story. Don’t prostitute it for the adoration of your peers, professors, or the cute bespectacled English girls and boys you run into at bars. Learn to be alone. Learn to do something for yourself. The rest of the world will get your story, when you’re done.
- Make mistakes. Be a bad writer. In the interest of time I’ll put it like this: being a mediocre writer and storyteller never stopped Stephanie Meyer. It never stopped anyone. Don’t judge yourself before you have anything to judge. Write on the page. When you stop feeling like you have to be Ernest Hemingway, that’s when you can really shit on the page. Ray Charles was the one who “liked to put his own stink on things.” Sounds gross? Well… you’re gross.
- Have fun. If you aren’t doing this, you should think twice about this as a hobby in your life.
- Ask questions and believe. Questions are your ladder out of the pit. Belief is your flashlight.