Diary Entry: When Writing is Needed and Life Says No

I had big plans for what would become this post. Multiple different big plans, in fact. And I didn’t even feel like I’d gone looking for them or digging to think of them! They simply came to me when I was idly thinking, or trying to make sense of something about my writing inside my own head. I had things I wanted to say and I was looking forward to talking about!

. . .and then March came through in earnest, and I wound up juggling far too many things that needed doing right now and – along with everything else I wanted to work on creatively – I simply didn’t have time. Or energy. Or anything left.

So instead, today I’ll share a page from my ‘diary’, because I am simply too wrung out and worn through to be witty or wise (or to play at them, at least).

When my mind is weighed down and filled with ‘junk’, I must create to save myself.

As I’ve talked about before, writing is a component of mental health for me – a deeply important one. Not only do I seem to process everything I go through or feel by way of my writing (whether as near-direct inspiration or so twisted even I don’t know how the one connects to the other) but I honestly feel horrendous when I don’t ‘have time to write’.

I do write every day (even when I don’t quite feel like it to begin with), which works beautifully for me although I don’t think it is universally applicable advice to do so. (I sometimes suggest other writers give it a try, because you never know, but no one method suits everyone; even more true of creative pursuits.) That terrible feeling I get, however, is not guilt for not making time to fulfil a goal. Continue reading

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Diary Entry: The Seasons of Writing

I’ll be honest – this post snuck up on me, and I’m so sorry if it rambles at times. I really thought I had one more week to take care of it, and with so much on my plate right now, I didn’t know when I would fit it in.

Well… I didn’t, really. It is nearly 10 pm the night before this post is supposed to go live, and I’m just starting on it. I’d much rather be sleeping. I spent 6 hours working in my garden today. My knees hurt, my hands are starting to hurt, and tomorrow is a busy day.

And I had no idea what to say to you wonderful readers here, because the truth is, other than my obligatory (and often, overdue) articles for Fantasy-Faction, I haven’t been doing so great on the writing front lately.

Some of it is that I simply haven’t made time to write – there’s always something else to do. Either something that needs doing, or just something else I’d rather be doing instead. But I’ve also started to notice some patterns to my lack of creative time.  Continue reading

How to Overcome Distractions—Oh Hey! Is that a Squirrel?

You’re going to see a lot of advice on this blog, covering a lot of different issues. Like how to structure a story or do an outline or what to do with a character that seems flat. And this advice comes from people who are well suited to give it. (Have you seen Rebekah’s outlines? They’re epic. Seriously).

What am I suited for? Well…

Today, I am going to talk about distractions.

For me, my major obstacle in writing is distractions. I get distracted. A lot. I’ll sit down to write, and suddenly—oh look! Someone tweeted me! Or, hey, I forgot to unload the dishwasher, better do that now… I put down my pen and wander off. And it’s not just hours later until I find myself back in the chair, it could be days.

(Seriously. Do not ask me about last week. Just don’t.)

Distractions. Gets me every time.

I am nowhere near qualified to sell you some fool-proof system of overcoming distractions in your own writing (or life, for that matter). I mean, look at my last week (which I remind you again do not ask me about). But I have collected a few tricks over the years that sort of help when I’m my most distracted, and they might help you, too.

Continue reading