50 Shades of Distraction….or maybe just 25.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 by careyb

 

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.  ~Eva Young

Sometimes I wonder why I never seem to get very far when I write.  A word or two, maybe a couple of good sentences.  On rare occasions  I’ll end up with several pages.  I decided to really think about my writing process.  I always start out with good intentions, determined to end up with something of quality, hoping to get into the zone where I can tune the entire world out.  That does happen sometimes and the work I end up doing makes me wonder why I don’t produce writing like that all the time.  I would guess that the following is what usually happens when I sit down to write. 

 

  1. Open can of diet Coke
  2. Play Castleville for 20 minutes until I’m out of energy. (Farmville is so 2010).
  3. Check all my friends news feeds in case I’ve missed a vital, important piece of info in the last five minutes.
  4. Take a facebook break to check my email.
  5. Channel surf until I find a reality TV marathon that can be background noise while I write. 
  6. Pinterest Surf
  7. Answer phone call from Mom.  When she asks what I’m doing say “Oh, just trying to write…” as I “pin” a $600 purse I like.  I tell myself this is truth when I say.  I am trying to write and pinterest is full of inspiration.
  8. Check my bank account for some kind of miraculous deposit that will allow me to purchase the Coach purse I just “pinned”.
  9. Stare at inspiration wall of pictures and wait for the words to come.
  10. Staring is fruitless.  Pull up iTunes and listen to the soundtrack I made for the book, hoping the music will stir up some kind of moody trance that will end in a new chapter.
  11. Wake up three hours later, surprised that its dark out.
  12. Open a new can of diet coke because the other one is warm and mostly empty and I can’t write if the diet coke is warm.
  13. Google the percentage of saliva left in a can by the time it is almost consumed.
  14. Skype with sister.
  15. Call Grandma to find out the latest family gossip, secretly hoping its juicy and can go in my next novel.
  16. Search cupboards for a secret stach of chocolate that I know doesn’t exist because I tell myself at the store that I’m on a diet and don’t need it.
  17. Rationalize that I can’t possibly write anything decent until I’ve had some chocolate, preferably Hershey’s or peanut butter M and M’s.
  18. Talk myself out of chocolate because I’m in my pj’s and I don’t want to go into a store. If only there were drive-through candy stores.
  19. Write down ‘drive through candy store’ on my ‘list of businesses I should start’.
  20. See other idea on list and remember that I had wanted to research it some more. 
  21. In the midst of research new idea, discover that business cards are essentail to any kind of marketing.
  22. Start designing business cards.
  23. Check bank balance to see if business cards will fit into non-existent budget.
  24. Get frustrated.
  25. Swear inwardly because I can’t write if I don’t have business cards.  Urgh.
  26. Look at the clock and realize I have to be at work in like 6 hours. 
  27. Give up and go to bed, vowing to write for three hours the next night.  No interuptions.

 

So yeah, it’s pretty obvious why I don’t produce more work.  I’m easily distracted by silly things.  And I let them distract me.  Maybe it’s self-sabotage.  It’s easier to say I’m writing and learning about writing than it is to actually write and open myself up to criticism when I finish.  No one wants to fail and if I don’t finish, well then, I can’t fail, right?

Meh.  That’s a crappy attitude.  So I definitely have to ignore it.  I’ll probably still do all of those things to put off the actually writing.  But those aren’t what matter.  It’s those few times I actually get work done that really count.  It might not always come easily, but when it does, it’s meant to be.  At least until it’s time to edit. Hah.

tbc…

 

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In it til ‘The End’

Posted in The Book I Write on May 30, 2012 by careyb

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.  ~Burton Rascoe

It’s been four years and I can say without shame that I’ve done a lot of staring out windows like Burton.  Thank God I live alone.  Sometimes I regret that writing is such a  solitary endeavor, that it’s easier to observe those who interact around me than to actually participate.  But if I didn’t observe with such stalker-like intensity, I wouldn’t be much of a writer, because those observations have provided ideas that  morphed into words on a page.  From there came the story that I am still trying to tell.  I’m not sure what makes this novel so hard to write.  I’ve written plenty of decent things over the years that haven’t taken near the effort.  I’m pretty sure I wrote an entire book when I should have been paying attention to organic chemistry.  But this project is different.  It has taken on a life of its own and sometimes I feel as out of control as the characters and I have no idea what’s next for any of us.  I’ve thought about giving up and moving on to other stories, but something keeps me tied to this particular book.  And even if I’ve taken time off, there is often a gentle nudge or a sharp jab to guide me back.   I’ve accepted that nothing new can happen in my life until this book is done, until the characters are settled in their rightful places.    I’m in it ’til ” The End” .

This blog is going to be a stomping ground for ideas and inspiration.  I’m not sure if anyone will read it, but if they do, they’ll get some insight into my particular writing process.  I’m not actually sure what will pop up here, but I’m sure it will be interesting.

To Be Continued….