Finding The Time

Just as the title says, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to write. Whether it’s a blog post or my current WIP, it’s such a pain for me some days. I’ve gotten the advice (multiple times) to set aside a time every day to write. Fifteen minutes, an hour, three hours, it doesn’t matter what the limit. For some reason I can’t bring myself to stick to this when I try.

I’m a fairly organized person so I like to have a schedule throughout the day to keep me on top of things. For the most part it works. I stick to my list, I manage to complete my tasks. EXCEPT when it comes to my writing.

Why is that? I’m not completely sure, but I think at present my biggest problem is that I’m just not into my current book the way I was when I started it a few weeks ago.

Oh no, here we go again. Unfortunately, that happens to me a lot. I try to stick with it, but it’s just not flowing for me. Ok, time to put it away. Maybe only for a little while, maybe forever. Who knows?

I think a lot of writers run into this problem, though some don’t like to admit it. It’s not about dedication to what you want to achieve in life. It’s more about feeling like this…Why would anyone else be interested in my story when I can’t even be interested in it?

Writing prompts and exercises can sometimes help get me back in the groove, but not always. Sometimes we just need a little break. But taking a break isn’t always a good thing. Let’s say you walk away from your WIP because you’re just not feeling it. It’s good to get some distance sometimes. What happens when you come back to it and realize you don’t really want to write this particular story anymore? No big deal because there’s always another idea out there waiting for you to put your twist and own personal flavor on it.

Maybe the breaks really are a good thing. Maybe they tell you that no matter how good you thought the story was when you started out, it wasn’t all that great really. Maybe there’s another one you realized you’d like to tell more. Or maybe you just realize that writing isn’t going to be your calling in life.

NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I refuse to believe it. Because even if I don’t create a work that perhaps someone else will one day love, I know I’m doing something that I love. So what if I’m never published. Pfft, who needs that anyway. The way I see it, if it makes me happy, I’m going to do it. Regardless of whether or not I finish a book, I will continue to write until I can’t do it anymore.

It’s what makes me happy, so why not?!?!

So, here’s my suggestion. If you can’t find the time to open up your computer file and write every day, or week, or whatever, at least do yourself a favor and jot your ideas down on the fly. In a notebook, on your phone, wherever is convenient for you to do so. Don’t let them slip away into the abyss, because some day you may just end up regretting it.

Where Did My Words Go?

Sad fact: Sometimes articulating the thoughts in my head is easier said than done. I know what I mean to say, but when I try to put them down on paper, or computer, or in everyday conversation, they don’t come out as well as I’d hoped.

Take for instance some of my blog posts. I have this idea in my head, but by the time I’ve published it, it’s not really what I initially expected it to be. There’s lots of words to be sure. Are they putting the message I want to convey out there? Hardly. Or at least it’s not happening quite the way I wanted it to…or thought it would. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure. But it sometimes feels like I start out with a specific intention and end up making the post something else.

This can also extend to my writing at times. Generally I have the feeling that the book is writing itself through me and I don’t run into this problem (except for when it comes to “show vs. tell”). It’s when I try to force the writing that I bump into the problem of being able to get my descriptions, dialogue, etc. across. What to do then? Stop…just stop. Go on to something else. Maybe another writing project, maybe go read for a little while. Just step away from it and come back to it when my fingers aren’t trying to override the voices of my characters screaming in my head.

I have one book that I haven’t touched in over a year because it no longer feels like it’s being written through me. I think I’ve given that one up as a bad job, but you never know. I may come back to it in the future.

Another problem: You ever get this story idea that you think just totally kicks ass, get partway through it, then realize you just don’t have anything else? That’s happened to me countless times. I think there’s something around twenty or so books on my computer and/or USB that I don’t think I’ll ever touch again. Regardless of how good I thought the story was when I started out, it turned to nothing more than just a few ideas or specific pieces of dialogue. You can’t make a novel out of something if you can’t really see where it’s going…or where it’s been. I can’t anyway, maybe someone else can.

I have begun a few stories of mine from just bits and pieces of dialogue, or a particular scene that I couldn’t get out my head, and in these cases most have worked out well and become finished works……..but not all of them. I think the main reason it doesn’t work out so well is because in some of these I am not as attached to my MC as I am with others. I like the idea of their story, but I can’t bring myself to really delve into it the way I think a writer should. If I can’t go there, what makes me think anyone will be able to?

There are a lot of writers out there who will agree with me and a lot that won’t. Everyone has their own style and methods when they are trying to compose a novel. For this girl at least, one thing is certain…if I have to force it, I must walk away from it. At least for a little while.

Disappointment in Reading

We write because we love it. Right? Right! So why do some books feel like zero love was put into them? I’ve only come across a few books like this in my life, but they were major disappointments to me. They seemed to read like the authors rushed through them just to meet a publication deadline. It felt like their hearts and minds weren’t in the story they were trying to tell.

Oh, tears of sorrow and rage. How could I possibly put a book down thinking it had no heart, no life of it’s own? That’s truly how I feel about books. They are a world unto themselves. I want to feel like I’m a part of it, warm in it’s light and cold in it’s dark.

Some books, I feel, are incapable of creating that complete immersion for me. Though they are few and far in between. But when it does happen, I at least try to figure out why I feel that way. Sometimes it has to do with technique, character depth (or lack thereof), plot issues… The list goes on and on. I’ve even found this to be true for authors I’ve read most of my life. When I put my finger on it, I try to learn from it.

Not everyone has the same tastes though. We can always chalk it up to this; it’s only my opinion and I’m sure others would disagree with me. But we could also say…it happens. Nobody is perfect and not everything is going to please everybody.

I only hope that if by some miracle I am published sometime in the future, nobody gets that feeling from my book……….