Over the past few weeks, writing has been a bit of a struggle for me, not because I don’t know what to write, although that was the case for a little while. Now it seems that the amount of time I spend in front of the computer is my problem. See I get easily distracted and sitting for long periods in front of a computer, for me anyway, makes’ me restless. I need to move around, get up, get coffee, or water, food and somewhere between lunch and breakfast I detour to the living and turn on the television. At first, my excuse was to check the weather, but now I sit on the couch and watch episodes of something just to kill time. The funny part is that I am not a big T.V watcher. Since I know that sitting for long “working” is not something that I can tolerate for too long, I have decided to dedicate at least four hours every day to nothing but writing. Should I feel inspired to continue past that period I will, there is no way I will stop just because my time is up. On the flip side, there are days when I can write all day and not feel the need to get out of my chair, but those days are rare. I figure if I give myself a time frame I will be more productive in my writing and still have time for family and a house that lately, despite my best efforts looks neglected.
How many hours a day do you write? Do you find that sometimes sitting in front of your computer writing makes you restless?
Writing is not a subject I talk to many people about, but every once in a while I get asked what I do for a living. Up until a few months ago I would say I am a stay at home mom, now I tell people I am a writer, and this gets some eyebrows rising. One question I get asked a lot is what I write, a question I ignore because when I say romance I get more raised eyebrows. A reaction that makes me laugh because I know what they are thinking, but “no” I say, “it’s not that kind of romance.” Another question is if I’ve been published, “not yet” is always my answer. I am used these questions and people’s curiosity, but there is always that one person who tries to dampen your spirit and makes a comment that gets to me. This brings me to my rant and an encounter with a mom that I had never talked to before at my kid’s school.
There is a spot at the school a small group of moms and I stand to wait for our kids, well yesterday there was a “new mom” standing there with us. One of the moms I talk to on a regular basis asked me how my book was coming a long and “new mom” turned to ask and confirm what the other had said. Anyway to make a long story short, after I answered all her questions, she turns to me and says “It seems like a lot of work to not get paid for it, don’t you think?” I said nothing and she continued. “I think being a writer is a lonely profession.” she finished. Right because she knows all about it right? Of course I didn’t keep my mouth shut, I told her that “the work isn’t lonely at all because the characters in my head keep me company and although I don’t get paid for doing what I do, the work is extremely rewarding and those who don’t know what it entails to create a story just don get it!”
There is something incredibly fulfilling about creating a world that is yours, this is something that people who have never written a word will never understand, unless they are avid readers. They will never know the sense of accomplishment we writers get when we write those last two words “THE END”.
Have you ever had someone say something negative about your writing? What do you tell them? Does it motivate you to work harder?
I am a stay at home mom, my children are at school all day, and I am lucky to have seven hours of uninterrupted writing time. Unfortunately I don’t take advantage of the time the way, I am sure, most other writers would. As you can see, I don’t have a problem finding the time to write, it’s getting motivated to write that seems to be my issue. This of course wasn’t always the case, I could sit at my computer and write until I glanced at the clock and realized my kids needed to be picked up at school. No, I didn’t forget, I just got so involved in the story I was writing it was easy to block everything else out. Now I find sitting at my kitchen table the least inspiring place to be, I don’t have a space where I can go and shut the door, whether I am alone or not. Maybe that’s the problem, I need a space where I can go to, shut the door and not be interrupted. This is where the “Where” comes in. Many writers out there can write anywhere, not me, I can’t go to a coffee shop to be alone because I am so easily distracted. People watching is a weakness I rarely admit to, it’s why my husband hates going out to dinner with me. I also can’t sit in bed, or on the couch with my laptop propped on my legs. It’s uncomfortable and if I am on the couch that means the television is on, not such a good thing for me. Therefore, I think my days sitting at the kitchen table are numbered. The place and time you write is crucial for your creative senses to take flight. Normally in a “real” work environment, I would sit at a desk not a kitchen table and I think that is what I need. A real desk, in a room that gives me the impression I am working, my dream to write is not just a dream it’s my job. I say this because I have invested so much time in ensuring that the images and voices in my head make it to paper, or in my case to computer screen.
Where do you write? Is the space you use enough to get work done? Do you have a day job and have to make the time?
For the past two years all I have thought about is writing. I have one manuscript finished waiting to be picked up for revisions and a few that are half ass because I can’t seem to get my groove on. The voices in my head are driving me insane, but lately I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write for a few hours. Deciding a couple of weeks ago to take a break from everything was a no brainer, I needed it. I attempted to stay away form the Internet, stayed away from writing and even reading which was harder to do since not having something to read sends me into withdrawals. My problem wasn’t that I didn’t want to write, it’s that I have too much to write. See in my head I have a dozen people talking to me, and trying to get to know each of them got to be too much. So I am trying to focus on one thing at a time. Last week I gave myself a break, cleared my mind, took a few deep breathes and now I am back —I think.
Instead of jumping right into the writing though, I have decided to go back to the half ass WIPS and see if they can still be salvaged. I mean, these manuscripts are well worth salvaging, some of which have words counts of 25,000 to 65,000, those could very well be novels in the next few months…
How many stories are in your head? Better yet, how many half ass WIPS are sitting in your hard drive? I have four, can you beat that?