Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back To Writing

I've plunged head first into writing again. In the last week I've cranked out about 13K words. Why now?

I've been trying to analyze the reasons. How could I go from a complete standstill to a word-cranker almost over night? It seems impossible to me, but page counts don't lie.

Is it a change in motivation? I don't think so. I've said it before and I stick with it. Writers are always motivated to write. That's part of their frustration, they want to write, crave the opportunity to bury themselves in their work, produce reams and reams of prose. But the distractions of life tend to interfere. I think about writing all the time, I plot stories in my head, spend an inordinate amount of time in daydreams creating characters. But when it comes to execution, I fall flat.

One of my biggest problems is that I'm spread pretty thin. Every year there is a bit more expected of me on all fronts. As a mom, I end up chauffering my kids around to their various activites. I also volunteer in their sports, school and extracurricular activites. I've read articles by writers who tell writers to avoid volunteering because it takes time from their writing. I disagree with that attitude. No book is as important as your family. If you can, spend an hour in your kid's classroom or helping out at a soccer practice once a week. It's not going to completely destroy your writing schedule. You can easily make it up by skipping some t.v. I do tend to volunteer too much for multiple reasons, not all of them altruistic. Its a good avoidance tactic from my writing.

Ah yes, avoidance. If I don't write it, I don't have to worry that its crap. That is a big one. Before I landed representation, I wrote without reservations. I'd had no experience with the marketplace so therefore I didn't feel any inhibitions. That changed when I finally experienced getting my book shopped. It twisted my thinking. It hindered my writing. By finding other distractions, I didn't have to deal with the fact my writing had wilted.

I also let other things overwhelm me. My "can't write in a dirty house" obsession is still there, but not as bad. My house doesn't get quite as dirty since my kids are older. And those three distractions have eased somewhat. The youngest can finally play with the olders without it being a constant fiasco.

My excuses pretty much evaporated. I also realized that I was going to the RWA conference without anything in the queue. I'm not planning on pitching anything, but it would be embarassing to get into a conversation with someone and admit I wasn't working on anything. I'd like to at least say I was finishing up my latest and hoping to have it submitted to my agent real soon. I'm finally comfortable enough to let my muse go and enjoy the writing again without worrying about whether it is marketable. It was marketable before, it will be again. Gotta trust myself moer.

Then there's the agent. I emailed her and and told her I'd have something to her around the end of the month. I'll feel like an utter fool if I didn't deliver.

I've instituted some self-discipline: I haven't played SimCity for week and I only go to TMZ a couple of times a day. Aware that I'm going to get distracted by the kids and house, I don't get upset, I make sure I do something else as well. I have to get up anyway so my back doesn't ache and give my fingers a rest. And finally, I discovered a New Wave staion on iTunes radio and I play it constantly. Nothing like a little synthesizer and drum machine to get the writing flowing.

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