The last month or more, writing has been an agonizing process. Time and responsibilities and thoughts of the future press on me with an unwavering, biting intensity. As this is the time of the year that I reflect on the past twelve months (and goals for next year), I have seen many false starts and a circling of projects stalled or even halted entirely. Most, if not all difficulties, are of my own making, and I take responsibility for it.
I began the Knights of Writ as a place where writers can visit to see what haunts the creative process, a place where the process of writing can be shared. I have seen little sharing, and that too falls to me and my failure to strike a chord with those visiting. That is another story: what I am talking about here and now is the daily writing assignments I wish to accomplish. Why have I not produced what I wanted?
There are many reasons, but I suppose the largest self-inflicted problem is time-illusion. Holding down a full-time job (nine hours a day required to be at the beckoned call of customers) saps the creative energy and the free-thought needed to write. Alas, I cannot change the reality of having to work to support my family.
What can I change? The two hours in the morning I allot myself to write. Sadly, by the time I have my coffee and sit down to create, a tsunami of concerns prey on me, and even sadder, little has to do with writing.
I do not mention this for sympathy, but as an explanation of what all of us would-be authors face—life and the myriad of problems associated with outside forces requiring our attention.
I am most happy and fulfilled when I write, though I find it difficult to devote such small time-snippets doing what I love. It’s hard to immerse myself into the process with one eye on the clock and the “actor with a head-set” job thundering nearer with each ticking second. Again, I cannot change that.
Life is attitude, and of late my mental well-being sucks, leaving it up to me to put things in perspective. In order to alter my attitude, I have written down—I’m a writer, after all—several things to help change my viewpoint. Most items are attitudes I already know, but writing them down reminds and impresses on my uncooperative mind what should be inbred.
- Write everyday, even if only a page or part of a scene.
- Do not open the internet browser, even to check email to see if a story sent out has been accepted.
- DO NOT think about anything but writing during my two solitary hours.
- Keep from talking with others about working projects; discussing them seems to take the magic out of the process.
- When not writing (or wearing the headset), read. One cannot be a writer without reading a great deal, within one’s chosen type and beyond. In either case, there is a great deal to learn from writers who have found success. I am now reading The Kite Runner, which is completely aside from my own selected venue.
- Read books about writing; these excite my muse, and of late have been ignored.
I have written these items down and posted them at my desk as a constant reminder. I need that. I encourage you to do the same; write down your own writer-plagues and review how to beat them every day. Head the list with the words, I AM A WRITER.
Please share your list here so others may learn from your wisdom.
See you on the next page, and next year.