Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Too Much Time To Write?

I don’t have a lot of time for writing. Work and family take the lion’s share of my time, so I have to make a conscious effort to squeeze in my writing. Ten minutes here, twenty minutes there. Whatever I can find. Whenever I can find it.  Unfortunately, since it usually requires several minutes for me to get into the necessary creative state of mind, these short snippets of time don’t always result in productive writing. So you can imagine how excited I get when I manage to snag a large block of guilt-free writing time. Woohoo!

The funny thing is, when that block of time arrives, I’ll immediately begin procrastinating. I may have spent the last hour fantasizing about all the pages I plan to write, but the moment I sit down in front of the computer, I’ll feel the need to get a drink of water, or  to check my emails, or I’ll decide that maybe I should work on a blog post instead of my manuscript. What’s my problem?

It’s as if the idea of spending several hours on my manuscript frightens me. Perhaps I’m afraid I won’t get anything accomplished. Maybe I’m so excited by the prospect of having all this time available, I can’t force myself to focus. I don't know.  It’s like I enjoy the idea of having time to write more than doing the writing itself. Weird.

Of course, once I force myself to type those first couple of words, then all is well. You can’t drag me away from the computer. But that initial reluctance to get down to business still leaves me scratching my head.

I don’t suppose any of you suffer from the same malady, do you?

16 comments:

  1. I usually play my guitar before I write. That puts me in a creative mood so I can sit down and dive in when ready.
    And I need blocks of time as well. Ten minutes would equal about four lines at best at the pace I write.

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    1. I have some of my best creative times when I'm driving to work in the morning. I get all these ideas and I'm all excited to start writing as soon as I get out of the car. Unfortunately, I then walk into work and I don't get much of a chance to put that creative mood to work. Sigh.

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  2. I understand this feeling! So annoying when the time exists but the mind or creative muse is unwilling!

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    1. It's not so much that the muse is unwilling. It's more like fear on my part.

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  3. I think procrastination is part of the writer job description. I do best when under deadline. So, I have no words of wisdom... it's usually at the beginning of a story for me and I like to believe it's because I have lots to mull over. Sure, that's it.

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    1. I already write too slowly to allow myself any time for procrastination. Maybe I need to think of those large blocks of time as 15 minute intervals. I get right to the writing when I only have ten or fifteen minutes to work.

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  4. I suffer the exact same malady. I try to push through that initial reluctance, some days I'm more successful than others.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. My initial reluctance really puzzles me, especially when I know I'm excited to start writing beforehand. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I have that problem, too, when I'm not very inspired. I make rules for myself, like leaving social media tabs closed when I write and going straight to the place I left off in my ms (using *** and searching it with a doc search). Otherwise I get sucked into an editing loop or a social media bunny trail.

    I'm with Alex. I couldn't do much with 10 minutes here and 15 there. I need larger blocks of time.

    Have you tried jotting notes to yourself for when you finally sit down to write again? That helps me stay on track when a scene is giving me trouble.

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    1. Unfortunately I think I'd start using those notes as an excuse not to start writing. All I really need to do is just sit myself down and start typing and everything will be fine.

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  6. Yes! A resounding yes. I think the reluctance is fear related. I must fear failure more than I dreamed. Otherwise, I must just take the path of least resistance out of laziness. Not good either way. This is why I need strong supporters.

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    1. We all can use strong supporters. Especially me.

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  7. I think this is fairly common Ken. I love having big chunks of time and it does take a while to get into the zone. I find spending 10-15 minutes on some free writing brings focus to my mind and gets it in the right gear. It's then easier to get back on with my bigger projects.
    And you never know, these notes from free writing might just prompt something else bigger later on down the line :-)

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    1. I find it's a lot easier (and more fun) to muse on my stories than to actually sit down to put the story on paper. Go to get over that. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. *raising hand and waving furiously* Me! Me!! I do the same thing and wonder what the heck's wrong with me as well. I still haven't figured it out, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who does it too! :) Thanks for that!

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    1. So have you come up with any tricks for solving the problem. It drives me crazy!

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