Writing Journal: Day 24

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Motivation is hard.  Or, I should say, motivating myself can be hard.

I have the kind of job that leaves me drained these days, mentally, physically, emotionally – when I get home, I am partially shut-down.  When you feel that way a lot, motivating yourself to sit down and write can be really, really hard.

Last week I pushed a meager 400 words through on the novel.  If I didn’t already feel bad enough, that lackluster showing when I’ve been so much closer to 5k a week was enough to make me positively ill.  To add insult to injury, I barely blogged.  I think I could have explained away the lack of productivity (at least in my own head) had I been buried in blog posts around the web – I wasn’t.  I did two here on atfmb.com and really only one of those counts cuz the other one was comments on links.

So, yeah – bleh.

Saturday

Then Saturday comes along and I wake up with this odd idea in my head that wouldn’t let go, so I sat down on the couch with the laptop before me, one cat beside me and the other on the cushiony bit behind me and started typing:

The Witch King, bored, called upon the demi-god Utesh, for inspiration.

From there, it all flowed. 4200 words later, I had this thing.

I say thing because – where the hell did it come from?  If I have to put it into a category, it’s a sword & sorcery tale, which I don’t normally write.  Yet here it was – 4200 words in one sitting and that critical part of my brain that likes to tell me that I suck (in this case, it’s using Karen Burnham’s voice because this is a short story) is telling me that it’s pretty good but the fight scenes might be too cinematic. (When Karen reads this post, she’ll nod her head at that.)

Binge and purge

What the F, brain?  Why do I feel like my writing shall forever be doomed to come in Bulimic-esque moments of productivity?  Why do I have these long periods of drought followed by short bursts of obsessive word vomiting upon the page?  Is that me or you?  How do I fix that?  How do I get back into a steady, healthy flow?

Finish it

I wrote 4200 words essentially on the fly, start to almost finish.

Almost finish? Yeah – almost.  Wrote the story, got everything in my head out and onto the page and realized – I don’t have an ending.  Again.  This is the single worst area for me.  It’s one of the reasons I love the novel – I have always had the end in my head, have always known exactly what will happen.  But not with short stories.  I struggle there.

I have the story – I have the characters, I have the epic-ish fight, it’s all there.  Now I need to wrap it up and end it.  Brain goes blank.

Hello?  hello brain?  Where the hell did you go? *knock-knock-knock* Brain? *knock-knock-knock* Brain? *knock-knock-knock* Brain?

Sigh.  Grumble.  Mumble.

~P

2 comments for “Writing Journal: Day 24

  1. March 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Why do I feel like my writing shall forever be doomed to come in Bulimic-esque moments of productivity? Why do I have these long periods of drought followed by short bursts of obsessive word vomiting upon the page? Is that me or you? How do I fix that? How do I get back into a steady, healthy flow?

    It’s the way I write. After a while, it’ll feel normal. A “steady, healthy flow” sounds a little unhealthy in a biological sense, to me anyway. 😛

    Don’t sweat it. Creation involves free will, and your characters will tell you how it ends when you’re ready to hear it. (Yes, I’m getting metaphysical on your bearded hat-rockin’ head.) You have an advantage with your podcasting, you can probably speak at length into a mike w/o a lot of “um… now what the #3!! was I saying?” stuff, just fire up your cellphone’s audio recorder and dictate the story when it comes wherever it comes.

  2. March 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Don’t sweat the ending. Give it a few days if need be, sleep on it, your subconscious will still be working on it. If nothing comes, I usually just keep writing anyway. Eventually an ending will present itself, and then you can always edit the other stuff out later.At least that’d what works for me. 🙂

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