So while I am still on the hunt for a “real” job, I am once again pet/house sitting for some family while they are away, which means I am pretty much isolated for the next two weeks with just me and three animals. This frees me up for a lot of time for little blog posts here and there (such as this!) and yet I still find myself struggling to sit down and write. Really write.
For those who don’t know I have been working on a bunch of short stories to put together to make a collection, this is to take a break from trying to write a full blown novel. I’ve tried, many, many….many times to finish a novel I started. Writing comes so easily to me that I eluded myself that putting all that together in a book should be a piece of delicious cake! Oh, how silly and naive I was. Now this thought was seriously brought about when I was in my earlier twenties. I’ve always wanted to write a book, been my dream since I was a kid, but as an adult I began to become more serious about writing a piece of solid fiction. I always seem to run out of steam at some point though. I write and write, my plot is going along great- and then I trip myself up. I begin over thinking what I had already written, or what I was going to write. Was my plot going along well enough? Were my characters rounded enough? What if I change the ending to this instead? Or throw this in. Eventually I make a big ‘ole mess of things and throw my hands in the air to start from scratch, even if I already have thousands of words written. This is a surprising hard habit to break!
The other thing is finding time. Everyone always tells me to put away 30 minutes a day (or as little as ten sometimes) to make time to write on whatever story I am working on. It’s difficult though to make that time. After work, class, housework, bills, family, etc, by the time I have time in the evening I just want to play games or sleep! You know, things that require no real effort on my half haha. Discipline, I feel I lack it yet I am earnest in attempting. I see all these authors with their first or fifth novels around my age and I am baffled and envious. I wish to do that too! Like many of my artistic friends comment: You are you own worst enemy/critic. I’m just too darn into my head and not thinking what I put out is good enough. It’s got to be amazing dang it!
So long ranting aside, that is what I am going to use these two weeks for (besides job hunting of course). Not for a novel, but to finish my short stories so I can get onto editing them. I always wished I could rent a cabin in the woods or by the coast for a few weeks or a month to just write and do nothing else. Well I’m poor so this is as close as I’ll get! I figure, if I treat it like a job or homework assignment and give myself a deadline, it’ll motivate me more to finish. I only have five or so more to write, not a whole lot for two weeks! Thus, wish me luck, and I will have to work on disciplining myself to make time and not give up too much hope in complicating my own thoughts and writing.
A small pat on the back to myself though for keeping the blog going since last November. I’m glad to say more frequently nowadays!
What does everyone else do to keep motivated when running out of steam or doubting your own work?