Monday, January 12, 2015

Writing Through the Sludge

One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody assumes that writing is easy. Many times when my friends or family ask me what I did today and I answer with anything that has to do with writing or editing, they nod and say, "Oh, so you did nothing."
FALSE.
I THOUGHT UP WORLDS AND STARTED A WAR AND CREATED COOL TYPES OF MAGIC TODAY WHAT DID YOU DO?
...Okay, so I don't exactly say this out loud, and most of the people who assume writing is easy are generally joking with me, but there are some people who truly believe that writing is an easy task.
I may not be an expert and I may be young, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say writing is not easy. It's hard. It's work. And the fact that many people fail to realize this is unacceptable.
Sometimes (especially if I've had a streak of good writing days) I run out of steam and my motivation to write plummets. The thought of sitting down and typing out a chapter seems like too much work--especially if I'm tired or have been at school all day. But sometimes, I need to meet a goal or a deadline and I have to make myself write. 
Making yourself write is hard, and irritating, and sometimes seems impossible. To this day I still struggle with forcing myself to write when I know I need to, but over time I've figured out the best way to handle it. 


1. I pick a time when I'm least busy. For me this is usually late evening, after I've finished homework and things of the like. When I'm not busy, I'm not so stressed, so concentrating on my work is much easier.
2. I sit at my desk. My ideal writing position tends to be lying on my stomach on the floor with my laptop in front of me. However, this tends to be a position in which I can easily fall asleep. So when I know I need to write, I sit up at my desk. Not only does this decrease my chances of falling asleep, but it also makes my mind more aware of the fact that I'm doing work and need to focus.
3. I word vomit. This may sound weird, but it's always my #1 go to technique when I have no motivation to write. Basically word vomiting is when you just keep typing in order to get the words down. It doesn't matter if the writing sucks so long as you at least get the ideas down. You can always go back and edit later.
4. I listen to rain or white noise. If you're like me, then you can't write without some kind of sound. I love music, but often when I don't want to write but need to, music is a big distraction for me. So instead, I turn on rain sounds (my favorite sight ever for this is www.rainymood.com) or some sort of noise, like white, pink, or brown (my favorite is pink and brown noise for study and concentration). Usually the lack of lyrics helps me to focus on what I'm writing rather than what I'm listening to.
5. I don't force myself. Sometimes, I just can't make myself write, and that's okay. When that happens I simply shut my laptop and focus on something else for a while. Usually I'll read or scroll through pinterest, or if it's late, I'll go to bed.

Writing is hard, and when there's no motivation, it's a real challenge. Sometimes when those around me see how stressed and worked up I get over writing, they ask me why I do it. Why do I want to pursue and spend my time on something that makes me frustrated? Simple: I love to write. Writing is not always stressful for me. Most of the time, it's a way for me to de-stress and relax. It's a way for me to travel to far off lands and be a part of crazy adventures in fantasy worlds and crumbling cities--things that, without writing, I would never get to do. There's nothing I adore more than seeing someone smile or laugh when they read my writing. And I can't even begin to describe how it feels when someone tells me the scene I wrote made them tear up or cry.
Writing may be a challenge, but it's a challenge I love to take. So whether you get frustrated or stuck or lose motivation, don't give up. Keep writing--even if it's just word vomit--and in the end, you'll get that accomplished feeling every writer knows and loves.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

2 comments:

  1. Love the Bible verses at the bottom of the posts!

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