At first this post was just going to be about my process, but I decided that during the process, I procrastinate, and end up persevering. I want to share with you how ideas come to me, when I write, how I get through the dreaded WB (Writer’s Block), and other things like that. Let’s get started!
So I usually start writing at night before I go to bed. I’ll turn on my computer, and if it’s a school night, I will most likely check my email and then blog. Then I will open up Microsoft Word, and decide to write my novel, usually thinking of a crazy word goal for the end of the night (i.e., 1,000 words). I have about one hour before I go to bed, after homework and such, so for me, 1,000 words is an unrealistic word goal. Some of you may be thinking, It’s only a thousand words. I can get that done in less than an hour! And I probably could, too, if the internet didn’t exist. Unfortunately/fortunately, the World Wide Web exists, and it literally hates me.
I will decide to write. Then I will, against my will, go on the internet and fool around on it for twenty-odd minutes, before realizing that I am procrastinating and I need to write NOW. Discipline is very important for a writer. And unless you’re in a writing class with required homework, it is going to be hard to discipline yourself. To help all of you writers out, here are some ways I get myself to write, and some ways I thought of that I don’t use but might work for you.
- Set a word goal for the end of the night or day or week or month or whatever. I do this a lot. I’ll say, okay, Chloe, get from 54, 356 words to 54, 765 words by the end of the night or something like that. Or a goal for the end of the week. Stick to your goal.
- Give yourself a reward. For example, give yourself a little chocolate if you meet your word count goal. Something like that.
- NaNoWriMoing. I know, NaNoWriMo only happens three months per year. But you can make your own NaNo! Start on the first of a month, and just write, like you do for regular NaNo. Then make a word document with your word count goal, how many words you wrote that day, and then use a calculator to figure out how many words you have to write per day to reach your word goal!
Next, I have decided to talk about distractions when you try to write. We all get distracted, may it be email or texting or Twitter–whatever. Here are some ways to not get sidetracked.
- Social media and/or email: Turn off your internet!
- Your phone: Put it in another room and hope you’re too lazy to go and get it. Or too dedicated. [I have a friend that does this to get her homework done, and it works for her.]
- A really good book: Put it out of your sight.
- Music from radio/iPod/etc.: Turn it down, turn it off, or unplug it.
I understand if you don’t want to disconnect from your internet for research reasons, so here’s another idea: Email/text/direct message/etc. that you cannot be contacted between the times a and b. Then you don’t have to worry about getting messages. If you get email updates from blogs like I do, just save them for later as a reward.
Writer’s block. WB, as I will be calling it, is a virus. A virus that gets only writers, and we do not know how it is transmitted, Some symptoms are, but are not limited to, a lessened creativity flow, mind block, staring at computer screen/paper, or a wandering mind while attempting to write. The thing about WB is this: It can be beaten. But only if you try really hard. If you’re stuck, just push through. Even if it’s the crappiest paragraph you’ve ever written, just build the bridge between the good writing and where you want it to go.
I find it helpful to just double-enter and start the next exciting scene. You know in books they might enter it multiple times, and in that part, time passes? Do that. Then, maybe later, add in a scene to string them together, or leave it as is.
So concludes Part 1 of this lovely piece of blogging. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!