I have tons of recaps from previous seasons of American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who that I’ve never shared on my blog. I started scheduling some to post, and it hit me that I was lucky that I had them because my brain is so tired that I’m not sure what kind of blog posts I could create right now.
My brain is exhausted, and that has crushed my creativity.
However, the desire to write is strong, so the trick is managing time to write. If you make time, writing will come.
I was at a panel at Comic Con and it was mentioned that Benicio del Toro spends his mornings writing and his afternoons working. I think this is the perfect balance. Of course, the first step is to get rich enough to be able to support myself so that this could be a reality. I’m working on it.
In fact, that’s probably why I am so tired lately.
I keep seeing signs for flu shots. I can’t remember the last time I had the flu (which is why I avoid the shots). Right now I have the Writing Bug.
I can’t stop writing. Last night alone I wrote three articles for a website. Earlier in the day I wrote a week’s worth of blog posts. Today I have a dozen ideas for things to write next, and new ideas for my book, which has stalled since Comic Con.
The Writing Bug isn’t a bad thing. The only time it poses a challenge for me is when I don’t have the time to write, when I’m driving, and when I’m supposed to be doing something else. Clearly the Writing Gods have a sense of humor.
Even now, I’m writing this post and I have at least 6 more that I want to write.
Sometimes my procrastination can be productive. Today I wrote a few blog posts (business and personal), Tweeted (again, business and personal) and sent a dozen business emails. I got a little writing done, and I’m mostly satisfied with it. Perhaps procrastination isn’t so bad when it’s done in a productive way.
Of course, if I keep procrastinating, I’ll never get the book done. *headdesk* The vicious cycle never ends….
I think I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. Lately I’ve been so pressed for time that writing has taken a backseat to everything else. This is not good.
I’ve considered things like daily page goals, or word count goals, but generally I feel that with writing nonfiction, trying to work toward a word or page count goal could lead to a bunch of crappy writing. Instead, I’ve tried to write something solid, and if I’m satisfied with the quality, then I’m happy with the progress. However, I suspect that I’ll never get done if I keep this system going.
Perhaps there is a happy medium that I’m not seeing. For now, I’ll consider any progress to be good progress.
I confessed to my coach last week that I was frustrated with my book’s outline. I need to prepare the first four chapters to submit to a agent. From my perspective, the first four chapters are the least interesting, and yet they’re absolutely critical.
My coach stepped in and pointed out that by subtly changing my viewpoint, I can make those dull chapters more interesting. It was almost too simple. All of a sudden I looked at my outline with a new set of eyes. I didn’t need to rewrite the outline or change things around in the book–I just needed a new approach.
I ordered a book last week and it arrived on Thursday. I’m almost done with it, and so last night I ordered another one so that I have a new book to start when I finish this one. They’re both business books by Alan Weiss and Marshall Goldsmith. (This is the third book I’ve read by Weiss and the 4th is due to arrive next week) The book I’m writing is nonfiction, and it centers around a philosophy I developed. Reading their books helps me to get my own book done.
I don’t think reading falls into my procrastination trap. I think this is more like research. However, I do find that I get lost in the books, to the extent that I’ve devoured several hundred pages in a few weeks. (I can read fiction much faster; nonfiction requires a different area of my brain, which is why I developed my own personal writing process)
On the one hand, I have tons of new ideas floating around my head. On the other hand, I haven’t done as much writing as I should have.
It’s funny how much writing I’ve done today. I laugh only because I am writing a little bit of everything. I have a solid outline that is my backbone, so I find myself writing a little bit here and a little bit there. I suppose that after a while, I’ll have everything done and none of it will have been done chronologically.
Is there any harm in this? I’m going to say no.
While it’s true that I eventually have to transfer all of these random pieces into the computer in some semblance of order, I’ll consider that part of the editing process. Indeed, I think that this will allow me to tighten up certain areas because I’ll throw some of it out and add new material into it as I go along.
Again, this is all part of the process. My process. As long as it’s working, why would I change anything? (That’s rhetorical…there are tons of things I could change about this nonsensical process of mine…I’m just not going to do it!)
As it turns out, all of the distraction had a positive effect on the book today. All of a sudden, as soon as I opened my pink notebook and grabbed my pink pen, the words started flowing forth in a torrent of pink ink.
I really think that there is something different that comes with writing nonfiction as opposed to fiction. I was discussing this with an author friend of mine today. He didn’t understand what I was saying when I said that this book is harder than writing a novel, and then I drew the comparison of trying to write a 250+ page essay or research report. That’s essentially what I’m doing. And then he understood.
Oddly, though, I think that taking time to work on fictional pieces and writing articles and working on my blog and posting to Twitter have all helped. There is a subtle shift from fiction to Twitter to my blog to articles to the nonfiction book, and so doing those things together allow my brain to shift gears from fiction to nonfiction.
This isn’t procrastination–this is the writing process!
I’m still distracted. I sit down to write and manage to send a few emails, write a blog entry, and have a conversation.
I’ve realized that I can’t work on my book on my laptop. This book is non-fiction, and writing it requires a different part of my brain. Normally I can bang out pages upon pages of fiction on my computer, but this new book is a different kind of beast. Now I’m using notebooks-pink of course-with pink pens. (Everything must be pink. That’s just me) I can write much easier with pen and paper, and then I do the editing when I transfer the work in the notebook to the computer.
I suppose this is just another writing quirk that I didn’t know I had. I used to write with pen and paper all the time, but eventually my little netbook became my best friend. Now we’re like a big family. Every piece has its place, and while it will take longer to write this book with pen and paper and multiple revisions as it moves from page to screen, I’m confident that the quality will be that much greater because of the process.