Why don't we ever put our writing first?
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Why is it that we seem to let our dreams and desires get pushed to the back burner?  I remember being little and had a list a mile long of things I wanted to try, and be, and create.  There wasn't ever a moment when I thought that I couldn't get them done because they were what my mind went to naturally; I had desire and fed it at any sign of hunger pangs. 

I don't want to believe that growing up means that this spirit dies.  So as much as I do want to pay my bills and get to work on time...I also want to make pies entirely out of whipped cream and throw them in someones face.  And I really do want to get published, but I need to sit my ass down and write the story first.  I need to make a mantra of all this when the boredom starts to creep in. 

plenty of pies, and journal tries

Say it with me.

  • I think the hardest thing when we do try and put ourselves and our work in progress (WIP) first is re-setting the expectations of family and friends.  

    This summer I had two weeks of protected time to write while my daughter was away at camp, but which family members wanted to encroach upon. I held my ground.  Nobody got it. "Why can't you write while I'm around? I won't bother you." And so on...in particular my brother expected to stay with me, and he is not an easy houseguest.  Having said no, said brother no longer speaks to me. 

    And while yes, I can and do write at the skating rink, during lunch and other weird times,  having honest-to-goodness protected time is an incredibly rare gift I grant myself in light of my other big commitments. 

  • I think the internet is the ultimate procrastination tool for contemporary writers.  I read one article, it leads me to ten more.  Even with good intentions--fact checking or researching some info for my novel inevitably leads me to a dozen other nuggets that suck up my writing time. 

  • I so get this, Rachel.  As a mom and part-time professor/part-time columnist, everything and everyone else takes precedence.  I sneak writing in between loads of laundry and snacks then feel guilty about ignoring the kids.  Hang in there.  Submit a link for us to respond to and perhaps the feedback will offer you the motivation to sit that ass down and write!  (While you're sitting and writing, please remind me to stop surfing Pinterest.  It's a terrible time-suck!)

  • A
    That's interesting especially since, while working on a novel this morning, I thought to myself: I need to finish a project instead of putting them down to start on something else.  I do agree though that it helps to set a piece aside for a while then come back to it with fresh eyes ~ sometimes you can look at something too long and miss everything in the process. (forest for the trees?)
  • Keep thinking about all the Starbucks goodies you'll have to buy for Jan and I! :p

    When I just can't get into a story, lose interest, or feel bored, I try to move onto something else.  Let that story marinate while I start something new.  When I did some research about Twain's process I found a bit of wisdom on this topic.  He was 400pgs into Tom Sawyer when it began to feel contrived.  He put it away for two years before picking it up again to allow his "subconscious to be refilled."

    Another thing Twain says is that if a story refuses to be written, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's not worth writing, or that it isn't there.  He says that it usually means you're starting at the wrong place or writing in the wrong form.

    He used to write 4 and 5 books at once, adding bits to each as he went along.  It would often take him up to 7  years to finish a novel.

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    Rachel, I know what you mean ~ that's one of the reasons why I enjoyed my old critique group: I need the deadlines, of knowing I had to have something in within the week!  If you need any "butt-kicks" toss me a msg - and feel free to dole them out too! lol!
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    Ok, and a gag for you! (just teasing) lol!  Stop saying "yes" to Yoda's swamp water - look what its done to him! lol! 

  • Sometimes I grow bored of the story I'm trying to tell.  I feel the need to walk away from it so that I can come back to it later with a renewed vision.  As much as procrastination and will power are obstacles, I feel that my attention span has a hard time keeping my nose to the grind stone.  I'm gonna need something extra to motivate me this week!


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    I loved that, too cute!  Maybe if we focus together we can get Obiwan to make an appearance. ;)  Use the Force! (but give me a sec, first I need to gag Yoda who won't hush with the whole "there is no try..." lol!)