Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Ok, so lately I appear to be slacking in my writing. And for the most part, that’s true. I mean, I am working on a story for my shared world that I am hoping to have done in time to submit to an anthology. And I do seem to be blogging with some frequency. And today I even tried my hand at a 5-minute fiction (wasn’t selected as a finalist, but it was an interesting exercise).

But, the fact of the matter is, I have yet to make the commitment to writing that I really need to. When I’m at home, I almost never write. I spend most of my time in front of the computer on Facebook or playing WoW. I know both are a detriment, but I can’t help it. I enjoy both so much. And if I’m not doing that, I’m watching something on NetFlix (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is freaking awesome!).

I need to write more. I need to set aside a scheduled time and make it a habit. I need to set myself a goal, and see it through. I need to plot out a story, develop the characters, and write the first draft. I need push aside distractions and resistance. I need to do the work.

Ok, so maybe that’s all very easy to say. But, for me (and I suspect a LOT of writers, both professional and not), it’s a lot harder to do. I’ve never been one for self-motivation. I’m inherently lazy sometimes, and cannot stay focused long enough to do anything all the way. I blame my second stepfather. Because of him, I have been battling a crippling fear of failure. I have adopted the “If I don’t try, I can’t fail” attitude so often that it has become second-nature. I hate him for that. Everything else I ever got from him that was good is wiped out because of this.

Eh, now I’m just starting to complain.

Ok, so focus on writing. Set a schedule. Write a plot summary. Sketch the characters. But most importantly…



Paul R. McNamee said...

Making the time is hard.

I need to do it, too.

I figure it is like exercise. You make it a daily habit long enough, and then eventually you'll feel weird when you DON'T do it.

Ken said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. But what's worse, not doing it because of a specter or not doing it at all.

I look at my writing and my app development as investment in myself. It's up to me to get it done. So, it's very much like work. I'm paying myself every time I sit down to write, to edit, to draw, to think, to plan, to work toward that goal line.

You can do it. Start at 8 p.m. and work until 9 p.m. Stop. Repeat the next day, the day after that and after that. Take a break every four days to watch movies, read a book, whatever. Unless you're like me, I have BGMs (Background Movies) playing throughout my time. Note: Not a movie that will steal your attention. Just noise...

8 o'clock. Tonight!

Ken said...

I also lived under the heel of a tyrant. My own father. He beat me senseless daily. For whatever excuse he could yarn. At some point I just fed up with it.

I remember the day things changed for me.

He pulled off the belt and hit me, but I had raised my arm to defend myself. I surprised him. I caught the belt. And didn't let go. It threw him off balance. And then I told him if he hit me one more time I was going to knock him down to the floor and he wasn't coming back up. He never hit me again.

He is dying now. Alone. We haven't spoken to each other since I was 12. What's to talk about? He missed out on all the important things in my life: Berkeley. Shannon. My kids. All kinds of stuff.

It's time to liberate your mind, Tom. It's long overdue, my friend.

bowiefan said...

And your wife's opinion should matter more to you than a drunken little troll. I know those demons are hard to shake, but make time to write, like I make time to exercise. Do it to please yourself and impress yourself. The rest will come.

The Happy Whisk said...

Hope you find your groove. How about going to a cafe or buying a laptop that cannot go online?

My writing desk as ZERO Internet and I love it because when I'm writing, I don't want to talk to other people. I just want the quiet.

Good luck. I hope you get your writing back into a groove.

Charles Gramlich said...

There's certainly many, many fun things to do out there. I've been playing too much Doom lately. When I get into the writing, though, it's more fun than just about anything else.