Sunday, September 16, 2007

When I COULD be writing...

Procrastination, again... I COULD be writing but I keep wanting to do anything else. ANYTHING ELSE. There isn't even a reason why I don't want to write. It's not painful, I'm not blocked, I have topics I could write about, lots of them, it's just any time I start thinking I should write I get this niggle.

Do you get that niggle too? That whining little voice that says, "But..." "wouldn't you rather play The Sims?" "wouldn't you rather watch a movie?" "shouldn't you rotate the laundry?" "you'd do better to go for a walk while it's not raining." "if you want to lose weight you should spend 30 minutes dancing instead." "you still haven't finished reading that library book."...

It's hard not to listen to that voice. I want to give into it. I don't understand why I want to not write more than I want to write. I know how much I'll hurt, how I'll hate myself, how I'll regret hours wasted, how I'll feel guilty and horrible if I don't write and yet at this moment, not writing feels safer, better, more comforting.

Life passes in these circles. So many of my writing projects could be finished if I didn't keep slamming into this wall every time I think about beginning them. Every time I sit at the keys. Every time I start letting my mind wander on where I want to go. Every time I THINK TOO MUCH!

I know how easy it is if I DON'T THINK! If I could cut my brain out and just act. Don't think about writing just write. Don't think about sitting down to write just start writing. It's the mind, those evil insiduous thoughts that put walls up before my goals. Those thoughts, this mind that wanders too much, that conspires against me. Why does it do that? Why can't my body, mind, spirit, all work together to accomplish what is best for me?

Even when I'm writing, like I'm writing right now, I'm forcing myself to be here. My mind is still spinning through my head telling me all I could be doing instead. All I should be doing. All I'll be doing if I just stop, now. I have to force myself to finish.

This is why writing gets painful. It's not the words, the story, it's not the pain of telling a tale or the agony of not knowing my characters. When I'm there, writing it, living it the whole thing is laid out before me and I just write it down. It's the thinking about it that trips me up.

How can I get my HEAD out of my writing? I just want to write.



Anonymous Anne said...

Please don't tell me that writing a blog gets to be a chore!!! I've only been blogging for about five weeks, and I've enjoyed it so much that I've decided to go back to my novel.

I've got terrible writer's block, just awful pain, with writing my freelance work. I think it's burnout. And I also think it's from investing my soul in the thoughts and aspirations of others instead of my own. After a while, it sucks your soul dry.

So, since rediscovering that I actually like to write, I'm going back to fiction. I've taken too long off.

You did a good job of using your blockage as fodder for your blog post. But what caused the block, when you can write about anything? Have I just forgotten how painful writing can be?

I know it can and will be on the novel. I guess blog entries can feel as tempting to write as writing thank you notes, and I just haven't been blogging long enough. Right now it's total, exhilarating freedom.

Nice to meet you, by the way! Will be back for more. Anne (lifepundit)

4:50 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Hi Anne, welcome to The Writer's Round-About. Alas, yes, even blogging can become challenging when you've been doing it a while. I shouldn't be feeling that way about The Writer's Round-About since it's not really a very old blog.

I've blogged in other realms for two years now and sometimes you really just wonder if people are going to care about what you're saying or struggle to come up with a topic you can both feel passionate about and do justice to when writing.

Of course, my novel is where I usually have trouble with writer's block. It's often tempting to start over, but on a good day I know a lot of what I already have is very good. I'm about half way through and it seems to get harder, rather than easier the further in I get.

Then of course I have copywriting, copyediting, and general copy to work on. Most projects that have deadlines are ok but as a freelancer I'm often working to my own schedule and for some reason the flexability can be harder to deal with then structure.

Anyway, it's a topic all writers could share a lot of insight and frustration over. :-) Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll enjoy the other entries. Let me know if there is any particular topic you'd like me to write about. :-)

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

So nice to be in touch -- and thanks for joining me in my novel struggles.

Here's a topic: what to do when you run out of ideas in your novel? (Now, this may depend on whether you are a plotter or a pantser/seat of pants writer.) I'm a pantser (I think I'll write about that when I'm finished with my paying work today)and when ever a pantser is writing there is always the possibility of slamming up against a story wall or wandering down a dead-end path. How do you get going again without forcing your story?

10:48 PM  
Blogger Poom said...

Hello Rebecca, your blog is really nice. I have more blogs to read.

It felt really good to find and meet other writers like you :)

2:46 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Thanks Anne, that's a great topic and inspires me for Thursday's entry. :-)

Good to see you here Poon. I'm glad you enjoyed the entry and it is great to find other novelists walking the same roads.

11:17 AM  

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