Why Aren't I Writing?

Dang! This question comes up a lot.
The easy answer is that writers have tortured souls.
Gosh. Wish I could claim that.
Can't.
What I can claim is that life and its challenges, pulls, wants, and whines seem to pull me away from my favorite mind game...writing.
Perhaps that is it.
Selfishness.
Why do I feel selfish if I'm writing? Probably because is speaks to the romance in my soul. The stirring of my heart, the fevered brow, the...grasping of fantasy. The reality of life is dirty dishes, dust on the window ledges (I nobly refuse to mention the dead six-legged, winged critter there), killing three vacuum cleaners in the last month, the commute from daily duties to home, where there are more.
Solace for others. That takes up hours.
I've been prioritizing some tasks.
One--learn my computer. It is a special needs pet.
Two--clear out old files little at a time.
Three--find the top of my desk.
Four--realize suddenly that these are recurring issues.
Dang!
Plan B.
One--make myself post-its to remind me of the schedule of tasks I've planned.
Two--make list
Three--on list determine next course of action for things needing done
Four--calendar those actions
Five--perform those actions because I've post-it-ed them and they are now on my bathroom mirror.
Six--realize first thing on list is to wash bathroom mirror
Dang!
Plan C.
One--go for refreshments this looks like a long task
Two--review notes for this blog.
Three--Oh, here it is.




Writer's Productivity Pitfalls by Sage Cohen.

1. Unclear big picture vision. Without an idea of where you're headed, it will be impossible to set realistic goals and measure your progress along the way.
2. Lack of short term goals. You can't hit a target you can't see. Knowing our daily,weekly, monthly, and annual goals (both practical and inspirational) can help you keep moving in the right direction.
3. Fear. Risk is the hinge on which productivity turns; if we aren't in danger of falling, we aren't growing. When we let fear prevent us from taking steps that could bring our writing dreams closer, we limit our opportunities to succeed.
4. Trying to force productivity. Understanding your writing rhythms and honoring them is the key to finding and sustaining flow you can count on.
5. Shabby systems. If you can't find the latest draft of your essay, can't keep track of what you've pitched and to whom, and don't remember that great idea you had last week, you're limiting yourself needlessly.
6. Lack of awareness about time. If you're not aware of how you're spending time, what your time is worth, and how you might devote more time to writing, or what you intend to accomplish in each chunk of writing time you do have, you're not maximizing this most precious resource.
7. Transition turbulence. Work to establish rhythms for everything from sitting down to the blank page to completing a writing session, so that shifts from one project to the next don't leave you in a lull.
8. Perfectionism. If you wait for your work to be perfect, it (and you) may never leave your desk. Focus, instead, on professionalism-doing the best you can, learning along he way, and understanding that mistakes and failures feed every success.
9. Isolation. Without a social, professional and community context, we're far more likely to get discouraged, lose our way and miss out on opportunities.
10. Negativity. It's easy to focus on the negative in writing and in life. But when we turn out attention to what's working and what we appreciate from moment to moment, our sails turn into the wind.


Well, I'm sorta clear on my big picture, but really, my big picture is sooooo big, I don't know what it looks like. I think I'll work on that this next week.
I have short term goals. I just never seem to get them all met. Hmm. don't really know why.
Fear. I used to be afraid. Then my good compatriots of WARA helped me out with that. WARA members rock!!
Forcing Productivity. If only.  I think I could use a little more force.
Shabby Systems. Oooops. Bingo. I was totally shot down when I realised that when I backed up in my backup drive that I had multiples of my WIP. I had kind of wondered why work I had done on it appeared to have disappeared the next time I worked on it.  Now I have multiple versions too. Yay me.....
I have no awareness of where time goes. I sat here at 4:30. It is now 8:42. I have been very busy.
Perfectionism. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
Isolation. HA! I have WARA!!
Negativity. It comes and goes...like dyspepsia.

How are you doing on the writer's productivity pitfall list?
How's your romance vs love your writing life?
Going for coffee and chocolate. You're on your own for a while.

And why isn't this posted on my day, the 10th? Because I won't be available on the 10th and the last time I tried to have it auto-post, my post got lost.
Cope.


8 comments:

Rox Delaney said...

When I think I have some of those licked, I discover I don't.

I missed my blog on Sunday, because I was busy with WARA stuff. Which is more important? WARA stuff. :) Y'all can live without my misguided thoughts. ;)

Life is ever-changing. Just when we think we have the hang of it, they move the goal line. Roll with the punches...and the dips and the upward climbs. Worrying about it does no good.

Nike had it right. JUST DO IT

Pat Davids said...

Ah, Nina, I love reading your stuff. You have such a wonderful flow and ebb to your words.

I write a lot, but only when I absolutely must. I can't write to an artificial deadline, as in one I set for myself. I need concrete pressure. Like the book has to be done in six weeks and I've only written 10,000 words on it.

I'd love to chat but I have to go write.

Nina Sipes said...

Oh, Rox, you are so right. I thought I couldn't schedule the post. I tried and didn't think it went. Then it wouldn't post--it was scheduled and I checked, it did work as scheduled and those minutes I wasted trying to get it to work when IT ALREADY WAS was really wasted time!
But, I found out that my e-mail handler doesn't automaticaly get rid of the e-mails I download. I had over 14,000. Yup, that's fourteen thousand still there. I took me an hour and some tech support to figure out how to get rid of it. Just sayin' that time, although essential, could have been better spent. But I was busy, JUST DOIN' IT. The pile of stuff to do is smaller.
............
I also figured out how to put cool pictures on my blog like the rest of you already do. I'm rockin'.

Nina Sipes said...

Pat,
You always say the nicest things about my writing. Thanks!!
I wrote a new begining for an old WIP! YES!! Some writing got done! Found the notes on the bottom of the pile on my desk.
Lovin' it!

Rox Delaney said...

YAY, NINA!!! I'm proud of you!

Rox Delaney said...

I'm back again to say that I'm going to post that list by Sage Cohen. I can always use reminders.

Thanks, Nina! You always say/write things I need to hear. :)

Rox Delaney said...

I'm back again to say that I'm going to post that list by Sage Cohen. I can always use reminders.

Thanks, Nina! You always say/write things I need to hear. :)

Joan Vincent said...

Love your honesty, Nina. I have many of the same issues. The list you provided is also too accurate. Best to face the issue(s)at least for me, if I'm to have a hope of getting past them. Thanks for the boost.