Saturday, 1 August 2009

To Sin is to Procrastinate.

What is it about writers that we never seem to actually want to write?
Is this a requirement of an author that no-one told me about?
Do writers have a creative gene or two missing?

For years beyond mention I have wanted to have enough time to indulge in the luxury of putting pen to paper, or in my case fingers to keyboard. Now I have re-jiggled my life and found myself great chunks of time in which to write I do everything to get out of it. Although, it's not so much the physical act of writing that I shy away from: once I'm sat at my laptop and start tapping away I'm off; no, it's the thought of writing I shy away from - I can always find something more interesting to do. Email...facebook...twitter...blog...text a friend...make a coffee...stroke the dog...watch paint dry....the list is endless.

Yet when I am genuinely busy all I want to do is write and I go around like a bear with a sore head!

Anyone out there know any tips on how to trick your body into sitting at that laptop?

15 comments:

Kat said...

Oh now you've hit a nerve, lol. I can only function under pressure which is completely insane.

So I turn off every outside distraction I can think of (music, tv, etc) and set a timer for an hour. The idea of a ticking clock motivates me. And when the alarm sounds, I go walk our puppy. Unless I'm engrossed with what I'm writing, lol. In which case -- good luck dragging me away.

Some people advocate free-writing, or retyping the beginning of an old story until you feel inspired.

I think it's the creative process. You never know when inspiration is gonna strike and it's really hard to force it.

onipar... said...

Ha! This is my problem exactly. I don't know what it is, but I have a hell of a time sitting down to work.

My trick, if you can call it that, is to have a "ritual" to when I write. Usually all that means is having a cup of coffee, water, or lemonade at hand. Put some music on very low, so it's not distracting. And maybe put my writer's hat (an actual hat, not a figure of speech) on.

It puts me in the mindset that, yes, I am here to write. And that's what I plan to do.

Good luck. :-)

Anton Gully said...

I hate writing, and I've done a load of artificial things to avoid it.

Those guys who live to write and have to write everyday because it's their calling? I like those guys, but I can't remember their names, because they haven't written anything I'd read.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Akasha - what can I say? My notes are at hand, waiting to be creatively transformed into part of my next book... and here I am, visiting on the blog...

Jarmara Falconer said...

I find it much easier if I have lots of notes to work from when I'm at my computer. I write in my tea breaks and lunch break when I'm at work so by the weekend I have some idea of where I'm going and what I'm aiming for, which I find a great help.

I find the best time of the day for me to write is early in the morning, so everything else is done when I find my attention has started to wander.

Good luck with your writing I'm off to bed now.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I think that you're spot-on with your accessment. I am king of the procrastinators and suffer from the same affliction.

I couldn't possibly sit at a blank screen and write. I need to jot down ideas in a notebook as they occur and then put pen to paper later in an attempt to form a story. I will later type it out, doing an edit as I go.

I think that Kat's idea of "free-writing" or retyping the beginning of an old story until inspiration strikes, may have merit. I first heard of that a week ago while watching the movie "Finding Forrester" on TV (remember, Sean Connery as the old, reclusive Salinger-ish writer?).

Kat said...

We had to free-write in Creative Writing class at Ohio University. Four pages of gibberish can be a trip, lol. It can help break writer's block though.

Akasha Savage said...

Kat ~ Like you I can't write with lots of distraction around me. I like peace and quiet, my only companion a glass of wine. I don't actually really need inspiration to kick in at the moment as I'm simply rewriting and editing my novel.

Which I should be doing right now....

onipar ~ I've a hat too that I don when I'm writing!! Mainly to let my hubby and daughter know I'm busy and to leave me alone. Mine's a black baker boy hat, what's yours?

Anton ~ I am actually starting to disbelieve those writers who state that they live to write...as you say, where are their books?

Leigh ~ Exactly...I should be working on my novel as we speak, but no. I'm blogging!

Jarmara ~ I've tried writing in the mornings, it doesn't work for me. I have to get all the other things out of the way first so they don't play on my mind. I usually settle down at my laptop at about 1.30 in the afternoon.

Alan ~ I love that film 'Finding Forrester'. Perhaps I can go watch a film and write a bit later....

Rick said...

Hello, Akasha! Whenever I run into that problem, I use self-hypnosis. It's not for everyone, but it works for me. Potentials Unlimited has a great Creative Writing Self-Hypnosis CD that might be a help if you're interesting. You can even download the MP3 if you want. Hope this helps.

onipar... said...

I have a fedora.

Actually, if you go to my last blog post (Dark Scribe Magazine), and click on my bio for Dark Scribe, it's the hat I am wearing in that picture. :-)

Rabid Fox said...

Oh lord, how I wish I could cure my own writing procrastination. I think the easiest thing for me has been a word goal. 1,000 words a day regardless of quality, just so long as I type them down.

Other than that, windows, televisions, and radios can be deadly to my concentration level. My computer faces a blank wall, so the only thing worth looking at is the monitor and that blank page.

Akasha Savage said...

Rick ~ I have got a creative writing CD that I play while I'm writing and it sends out sunliminal messages to get you writing and (supposedly) improve your writing...but it's not the writing I really have a problem with, it's sitting down and settling to the task that I avoid! :)

Akasha Savage said...

onipar ~ love the photo...it's good to put a face to a name!!

Rabid Fox ~ I absolutely know what you mean. The one down fall of my loft writing space is the window. I'm forever sitting on the window seat gazing out at the view when I should be writing!

Vesper said...

It's human nature, I suppose. To always desire something that we don't have and disregard what we have. Now that you have the time to write, you won't do it... :-)
For me it works best when I have an external deadline, that is not a self-imposed one.

Akasha Savage said...

vesper ~ nice to see you're back, and I agree, I can work better when I have a deadline to keep to. Keeps me focused.