Get off the Couch and WRITE!

Do you ever find yourself wanting to write so bad but when you try, nothing happens? Maybe you rewrite the first chapter over and over again, and can't find the "inspiration" to continue on? Or perhaps you have so much love for this particular story you just don't know how to put it on paper?

I'm sure every writer has been there. It's that time when you're trying to get yourself out of a writing slump, but nothing is happening. You feel like a writer, your brain is moving like sixty...but your fingers? Not so much.

What is behind this exactly? Is it real lack of inspiration? A pure slump perhaps? Is it a fear of failure? Laziness?

To be honest, I've been in this sort of a situation lately. I have two stories that are my babies. I love them so much but they just can't seem to get out of my head onto the paper. I'll sit down, ready to work hard, and then find myself starting at the pages I've already writing, and editing.

This is where Natasha would force me to go shoot arrows or something, to get all the stress off. But all I wish, really, is that I could shoot this stupid writing bug I have. I'm literally more into visualizing my story on Pinterest, than bringing to life on paper. Enter Shannon Hale;

You have to train your brain to be a writer.
You can’t learn how to have a sense of story and character,
but you can learn how to be a crafter and discipline yourself. -Shannon Hale


What really strikes me from this quote is the fact that she says you can LEARN to be a writer. Sure we may think we’re writers, “Oh yeah I have stories in my brain that will someday be bestsellers”, but in reality? It’s a lot of work. You have to train your mind and body to fit the mold of an author that you want to be. 

In a way, it's like exercising, or in my case, conditioning, to reach the height of power you want. So here are my suggestions on how to train yourself. 


Visualize Your End Goal

What do you want to accomplish with your writing? A book published eventually? That's a vague goal, but a start for one. Maybe you want that book published by such-and-such date. You may want to be able to write a certain amount of words in an hour, or be able to finish a 50K word novel in a month. Whatever your goal, picture it. Post it up somewhere, do something to make it a real thing that you can imagine.

Start Small

Your big goal isn't going to come easy to you, especially if you're trying to break the hard habits of writing. Set a time limit for yourself. Maybe each day you want to write for a half hour at the minimum.  So set that timer and write the dang words! If you want write more? But keep this up for at least a week until you're ready to increase your goals!

Don't Stop

This is critical. You have your beautiful goal in mind, and you've set smaller steps to get your way there. Now you've just got to build the habit and never stop. If writing is truly what you love, you'll get there. And the result will be much better than you ever dreamed! After all, the tortoise didn't win the race by quitting, now did he?

Now, I've got to go, the team is getting on my back about this whole writing thing. I've got goals to make and words to write, and so do you. So good luck! I'll see you at the finish line.

Till Later, Hawkeye

2 comments:

  1. This is really good advice! I really love that Shannon Hale quote. I think it's hard for people who dream of being a writer but then realize how much work is involved. It's disheartening, and I know I've been there. My favorite way to just write is setting a timer. Almost always works for me because then I have something solid to race against.

    Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Writers write. There is absolutely no way around that piece of writing advice. I actually met someone at a writer's conference who told me, "I do a lot of visualizing." And something about her telling me that seemed weird--then I realized why. She had just told me, "I waste a lot of time not writing." I mean, coming up with ideas is really important, obviously (see my next paragraph)--but if you're training yourself to do that instead of put words on the page...not good.

    Personally, I'm coming off a period of re-envisioning and outlining, which, while it was a necessary step towards my current rewrite, is forcing me to make a very deliberate transition back into the butt-in-chair, fingers-on-keyboard mindset. So, here's to self-discipline!

    ReplyDelete