So finally, after much angst, hair pulling, stress and procrastination, you finally find the time and environment to write. It is very creative of you to make up a billion excuses for why you couldn’t write before, or to insist on the perfect environment acting like a moody writer. It’s all part of your character and your creative genius, that you think makes you interesting but probably just pisses off your partner, your housemates and the other people around you.
But now the house is empty, and in front of you is a few hours before you have other commitments, that real life demands because they don’t understand you. Congratulations. You might be giving up eating regularly, sleeping or acting like a normal human being but you earned the time.
But then what? You’re not in the right ‘headspace,’ you whine. Your mind isn’t thinking of your story, the words aren’t forming in your brain before they come out of your fingertips like genius sentences that don’t need editing ever again.
Sometimes you need to trick yourself into writing when it gets this desperate.
For starters, write something else, like say, a blog about why you’re not writing. It is actually writing, and it kind of warms you up a bit, gets your fingers moving and your brain used to forming brilliant sentences, or at least you think so. Write a poem, a spoken word piece in not so poetic form, or something else. Something that doesn’t matter. Like some flash fiction piece that you think will never see the light of day or you’ll just put on your blog that no one reads anyway, and you know, it’s not serious so it doesn’t have to go good. Haha! Tricked you! It actually is pretty good, so you can keep it to work on again later and submit somewhere.
Sometimes you insist that things don’t look write for what you’re writing so you change word processor, whether it be in Pages, Word, some odd text editor, the text box used for entering blog posts in WordPress or Scrivener. You also love changing fonts and obsess about the perfect one. You insist that it’s because you’re bored with the current font, or it just doesn’t fit the mood of the piece. Publishers detest non-standard fonts, and submitting a manuscript in Comic Sans is a capital offence, but who says you can’t write your first draft in some stupid font? Just don’t forget to change it and never admit you might write a horror story in Chiller in some public forum, like say, your blog.
Make writing procrastination. Writing a blog post is sometimes procrastination from real writing, and it’s easy, even though last night you looked at your blog and wondered why you can’t write a blog post and what’s with the gaps in posting. So why not do that with real writing. Think of something really important and stressful you have to do and then take your mind off it again by writing.
Try drinking more coffee, snorting wizz fizz or playing loud music.
Lastly, try writing out your scene or story in your own voice, like you’re explaining it in a conversational or not-so-serious tone that of course, would never be used in the final product, unless of course, you discover that is exactly how you want to say it. Rather than finding a perfect fake voice, crafting each sentence writing, just explain what is happening in your head on the page, bash those keys like there’s no tomorrow and you might discover you’ve got something to work with. You can go back and edit later, of course, you always will have to but sometimes you just have to start writing, anyway you can.
You should be writing something other than a blog post making up excuses for why you’re not writing, you shouldn’t think that a different word processor or font will make it easier, you should be making writing the important thing to do instead of procrastination and you should be trying to craft the words like a real writer – but sometimes odd things, like realising you’ve written a whole blog post about yourself in the second person might just work. So write however you damn well want to.