1. Screams of Silence
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    Screams of Silence Member

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    Finding the will to actually DO it

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Screams of Silence, Feb 24, 2013.

    Writing I mean. How do you do it?

    For example, I have several stories I wish to write. And I don't mean vague, high concept plot ideas. I mean I actually have well thought out ideas, with chapter summaries and what-not already developed and ready to go. I know exactly what I want to write and how I want to do it.....

    ....but I just can't seem to find the inspiration to actually sit down and do it. I'm unemployed, so I have literally no excuse for not working on this stuff. So to those of you who actually do put in the time and effort to bring your ideas to life, what drives you? Where do you find the will to dredge through the tediousness?
     
  2. The Crazy Kakoos
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    The Crazy Kakoos Member

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    I personally do it because it will continue to nag at me like some sort of disease, and I also like it when I get going.

    It is hard for me to actually get time to write anything though. I live on a farm though and have a one year old. Sometimes I put in twelve hour days plus time with the boy and don't feel like doing anything but sleeping when done. But its progress just keep chiselling out the words when you can.

    I can suggest maybe a change of scenery, less distractions the better
     
  3. Screams of Silence
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    Screams of Silence Member

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    I hear you. My ideas and characters annoy me until I do something with them, which is why I am wanting to write in the first place. I don't expect to ever make much money doing it, I just want to get this stuff out of my head and onto paper/flash drive. I often get depressed when I don't work, hence all of the plot and chapter summaries I've done.

    And yeah, the change of scenery is a great suggestion, as I tend to spend hours playing video games and then later regretting not putting that time into the characters/worlds I've created and fallen in love with.

    I think a big issue is that I get overwhelmed, because my ideas are ambitious and will take a lot of work to fully bring to life. I get started and then go "ugh, so much to do, much easier to disassociate and play Skyrim for the next 6 hours"
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Screams, Kakoos has a good point (I love calling you guys by your screen names - it makes for cool sentences!). A change of scenery works. I would generalize that to a change of habit. I work at home, and I used to just get up in the morning and automatically turn on the TV news. I'd learn what I needed to know in about ten minutes, but the damn TV would stay on for hours, repeating the same stories over and over (it was a 24 hour cable news channel).

    I changed my habits. I got up in the morning and DID NOT turn on the TV. A very simple thing, but it seems to have quadrupled my productivity, writing-wise.

    I'd also suggest this: You say you know exactly what you want to write and how to write it? Forget all that stuff. Put it out of your mind. Start writing something else, something you haven't planned in advance. Embark on a journey into the unknown. If you're like me, the act of writing itself will start triggering all kinds of new ideas in your mind, new ideas you've never explored. If something grabs you, follow it - keep writing! You can't lose, because you can always fall back on all those preplanned stories you have in mind. But give this a try - discovery writing is often a lot more interesting than preplanned writing.
     
  5. NellaFantasia
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    NellaFantasia Member

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    I'm homebound as well aside from one day a week in the early morning when I do a part time job, so I can understand how easy it is to get distracted. I actually found it easier to write when I was busy with a full time job. It kept my energy up and forced me to get into a time management routine, which included about an hour of writing before bed each night, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it. Now that I have a lot more time on my hands to do what I want, such as write, I feel like it gives me more excuses to procrastinate. "Oh, I'll do it later. I have time, after all."

    Change of scenery is a good idea. It can help you get away from distractions such as the computer, video games or the TV and focus on what's in front of you. It also helps with depression. I go to the local library or cafe to write. Sometimes I'll go to the park or just to my backyard when it's nice outside. It really helps. However, like any suggestion anyone is going to give you, you have to actually do it. Unfortunately, there is no miracle potion for writing. You have to make yourself do it consistently even when inspiration isn't there.
     
  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You need to want it and you need to want it bad. And by "it" I mean everything - the sleepless nights, the isolation, the exhilaration of a scene well-written, and the fame, the recognition, and the career. You need to be tireless to work constantly and never give up. If you have this kind of fire in your belly, it'll help you do it.

    I have a couple of techniques:
    1. If I'm on the roll, first thing I do in the morning is write. I don't delay it, but give it all my energy.
    2. The goal is to make 1. at least 5 times per week, every week, until the book is finished.
    3. 500 words per day of work minimum.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I have the same problem,my story is all fleshed out but I seem to be terrified of its magnitude/size. I just am not sure I can write down all the information in my head and make them readable/enjoyable. But as from today, I decided to write 500 words everyday. Let's see how long this will take before I go back to lazying around.
     
  8. Lunatia
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    Lunatia Member

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    I also used to lack the will to sit down and do the writing. Mostly because I'm a perfectionist and, well, my writing is so far from perfect that I just wanted to chuck it all in as soon as a sentence looks a little off. (That usually happened at the second or third sentence. :D )

    Writing is all about self-discipline, this I know now. So I told myself that perfection is really not what I should aim for, at least not until the editing process. And as others here said, remove distractions. Lastly, make yourself a goal. I saw someone else here saying about reaching a certain amount of words for the day. That really works for me. And reward yourself if you make it. Best of luck! :)
     
  9. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    You have to believe that writing is not a waste of time even if bears you no fruit. If you remember this you'll have no conflict convincing yourself to sit down and "waste a day" writing.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quit waiting for inspiration. Consider this your current job. Set an achievable goal, no matter how small. No negotiations then. Just do it - at home, at the library, wherever. Do it. Tomorrow do the same. Once you tell yourself you have no choice, you will do it. It's when we give ourselves an out that things fall apart.
     
  11. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Words of wisdom, but I personally subscribe to a thousand words. Either way, motivation was never a problem for me -- few things make me as happy as nailing a scene, bringing characters to life, creating whole worlds with the whirr of my fingers on the keyboard. You've got to love it. Force yourself to write them, don't stop, and you'll find you soon can't.
     
  12. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    I hear ya. I'm actually far more productive as a writer when I'm working than I was when I was between jobs, even though then I had far more time. Go figure ...

    I think it's the lack of routine/structure that makes it difficult to get things done. So, you have to create that routine for yourself. Set an alarm. Block off periods of time for writing - you will write solidly from say 0900-1100 and 1400-1600 (or whatever works for you). During those periods no TV, don't be tempted to open social networking sites etc etc.

    In between those times, do make sure you get some head space - get out your home for a bit, relax, be away from the computer.
     
  13. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    The key is discipline. Choose a period of time each day where you have to write. Find out what works better for you whether it's in the morning or in the evening after work.
     
  14. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    If I had to "dredge through the tediousness" of writing, I wouldn't be doing it at all!!
     
  15. David K. Thomasson
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  16. Screams of Silence
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    Screams of Silence Member

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    That was actually a very poor choice of words on my part, because the writing part is fun and satisfying. When I refer to dredging through tediousness, I'm thinking more of the editing, revision etc.
     
  17. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    There's your problem right there. It shouldn't be a tedium that you 'have' to dredge through. It should drive you, compel you to write. Have you considered that perhaps the subject matter you are attempting to write is wrong for you? That you don't really want to delve into that world because simply put, it doesn't grab you.
     
  18. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Doing 12-20 cycles of revision and editing potentially does get tedious ... however, I think there's a big case for leaving that until you've got plenty of the writing down to start with. On my second attempt at a novel (still going through the editing cycles right now) I put down a 74000 word first draft before I let myself edit a single thing.
     
  19. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    I read the follow (paraphrased) advice from Cory Doctrow: set aside an hour a day to write. Sit down, commence writing, write for an hour. At the end of that hour, stop, especially if you are mid-sentence because that will give you a thread to pick up the next day.
     
  20. JennyM
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    JennyM Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation. Have just downloaded the Kindle version - strange though, it's about 10% more expensive than the printed version.
     
  21. Phoenix Hikari
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    I have been looking all morning on Amazon for a kindle version of this book but I only get paper-backs. How did you find this one?
     
  22. David K. Thomasson
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  23. David K. Thomasson
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  24. Phoenix Hikari
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    Strange, I only see Hardcover and Paperback. I tried both the .com and .co.uk, none have Kindle version.
     
  25. David K. Thomasson
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