Monday, January 13, 2014

Rusty

I guess you could say the last six months, I never really stopped writing.

Because, technically, there were a couple carefully crafted emails that must have totaled 300 words. And some lengthy facebook exchanges with family and friends. And let's not forget the frequent standard status updates. Oh! And I wrote out quite a few checks without my hand actually cramping. So yeah. Totally kept those writing muscles loosened up. 

*ahem*

But when it comes to my works-in-progresses, frankly, there hasn’t been much work, or progress up until now. Over my hiatus I tinkered with one project in particular, but got hung up on details that stunted my mojo.

I always admire writers who have a set ‘schedule’ and write a certain number of words every day, rain or shine. I think, if I’d had different luck with my last two projects, I might have found the motivation to be more disciplined and push my muse awake instead of waiting for her pretty eyelids to flutter open on their own. As things are now, I’ve really had to take motivation where I could find it and ride it for as long and as far possible. Which, these last few months, hasn’t been very far.

This weekend, I took out the four different manuscripts I’ve begun over the last year and a half. Two of them barely made it past the outline and first three chapters. The other two puttered out somewhere around 30k. My goal is to finish at least one of these manuscripts before summer vacation. And to do so, I’m going to try and take a page from the disciplined-writer handbook and make myself write. every. day. At least a page, if I’m really not feelng it. -But hopefully a half-scene or more on a daily basis. And this time, regretfully, bills and facebook statuses will not be included in the word count:)


What is your writing schedule like? Sporatic or disciplined? Where do you find your motivation and how to you keep going when you’re totally not motivated?

16 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

Well, first, Happy New Year. Second, Congratulations on the new baby. I don't think I knew she was born.

As for writing. I hear you. I can't write every day. My life is too crazy. I suppose then what it becomes is a sporadic frenzy. When I find uninterrupted time, I write like a maniac. I mean, why bother trying to force something in 30 minutes when I know it will be poop. I'd rather wait until I get a good hour or two or three and get in the zone.

Good to see you on the blogs again.

Laura Pauling said...

That's the best place to start! I'll be honest, I have multiple outlines I never followed through one! The hardest place to be is where you're not sure what you want to work on! :)

Andrea Mack said...

I have some of those abandoned manuscripts even though I do try to write every day. But I always think I'll go back to them...

Dianne K. Salerni said...

When I finally complete a decent draft of this third contracted book, I'll be pulling out some abandoned manuscripts, plus a few scattered notes for never-started projects. I might try my hand at writing a couple different things until one project grabs me.

SA Larsenッ said...

I think you already know my take on the writer's journey - we each have our own to fulfill. The hardest part of being a novelist isn't plotting or creativity. It isn't grammar or building a platform or even fitting it into everyday life.

It's keeping at it. Period.

Writing is hard work, and it's okay to admit that. It took me a few years of my own experience to validate that truth for me. Last year, after finishing my second YA and having the success I had with it - I became totally and utterly stagnant. No matter what I did, writing just wasn't happening. I ended up doing exactly what you did - took out any manuscripts or ideas I'd had previously and decided to work on one. Commit. (Of course, for me, this came after a chat with my agent. So I commend you for getting to this point on your own.) And soon, after a few more reads from my CPs, I'll be ready to send my agent that manuscript for her to submit.

Keep at it, sweets! (Oh, and please be easier on yourself. You have four beauties to care for! Motherhood is not always agreeable to our writing world. LOL)

Natalie Aguirre said...

These past few years my writing has been sporadic because the blog and reading blogs has taken up so much time. And I work full-time and have a busy daughter who swims. This year I'm not planning to write every day but regularly. And slowly I am getting more scenes and chapters done. That's working pretty good for me right now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you are writing again. I didn't do any writing this past year except editing, and it's been tough getting back into the groove again.

Katy Anders said...

Writing breaks are great for me. I mean, it's tough to get back into it, but I my writing is always in a new and interesting place afterwards.

My "time to make the donuts" writing is always flat.

Susanne Drazic said...

I haven't done any writing in awhile. I've had so many different things going on. I'm trying to get things organized so that I can get back to writing. Hopefully on a set schedule. Best wishes with your writing.

Angela Brown said...

I can't say my writing schedule is a schedule. I tend to write in fits and bursts after I put my kiddo to bed and before I get to "I'm seeing sideways I'm so sleepy". I try to do this at least 3 times during the work week and mash out what I can during the weekend. I also try to lure my muse with chocolate. The times she doesn't come, I use a writing prompt or just journal.

Good luck on working on a schedule. It is often said that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. So give it 3 good weeks to make it a part of what you do :-)

Cathy Keaton said...

I'll schedule my writing on certain days rather than times of the day. Just can't realistically write every single day.

I find if I'm so unmotivated to write, truly unwilling and not just plain SCARED, then I write something else that actually interests me. I don't even care if it's just fan fiction. I'll go where my interests are at. If I can't even finish a 1st draft because it bores me then how could I expect anyone else to like it?

Rose Cooper said...

For me, it's near impossible to write if I schedule it. Which can make deadlines super challenging. It's hard to put a timeframe on creativity. At the same time, without having a deadline I probably wouldn't get as much completed. I try to write as often as I can...usually in the evenings.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

I'm afraid I had most of last year away from my wip too! Mainly because of location and lifestyle changes due to family issues and illness. Excuses I know... Time for a fresh start.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I need to do the same. I have way too many half done, half started projects.

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

I write blog posts almost every day. So that's something. But I need to have a schedule where I write my novels. That's something I need to be more strict on.

Pat Hatt said...

Just go with the flow at my show, get 100 blog posts ahead and can break whenever i want. No writing checks though thankfully lol

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