Writers are a weird bunch and by weird, I mean awesome. I think our minds work differently than others and that is okay. We find inspiration in many different places and at the most unusual times, such as at the exact moment we are falling asleep. When we can write, we don't and when we can't write, we do. Someone explain the logic, please?
This university holiday I gave myself the word count goal of 35,000 words because I thought that I would have plenty of time to complete this. It is now the 20th of July and I have contributed to my goal an amazing 1,381 words and now I have 33, 619 words to go. Despite this dismal number I have written 10,191 words of my revised plot for this book, but I am not counting that towards my books total word count for obvious reasons. So, technically I have written quite a bit.
However, on Saturday I gave myself a whole day to write but when it came down to it I just did not feel like it. I watched the entire first season of Teen Wolf instead, I don't know why that particular show but I did. I felt bad at not writing but then again, I didn't. I knew that I shouldn't push it or force myself to write, because writing is something special to me. It is enjoyable. If I keep persuading myself to do it, it makes me not want to do it and it will suck the joy out of the activity. I never want that to happen. I am not skilled at very many things, but writing is something I feel I am pretty good at so I want to keep it that way.
I find that I am the type of person who thrives on a schedule and being busy. For writing I need what I call 'productive busy' which is your life being filled with droll activities which makes you crave writing as an outlet. Whereas, lately I have been 'fun busy' which is going out with friends, working and being active. The latter is not conducive for writing productivity. My holiday has been filled with work, dinners and going out which has me going at at 8 and coming home at midnight. I have not had time to write apart from maintaining my blog. However, from today university starts again and I will be 'productive busy' with attending lectures, doing assignments and exams which has made the muse in my flutter and awaken. Last night, I wrote for the first time in two weeks because I felt myself fall into my routine again. Now that I am inspired again to write I will be writing more, and adding to my word count goal by spending a day this weekend actually writing. I know that I need to now, and I am in the frame of mind to do it.
I was talking to other writers online about when they like to write and most of them say that when they are busy they love to write. A friend Silas Payton on twitter told me he wrote his first two books while overhauling his business- talk about busy! However, I see a trend here. When a writer's life gets hard they crave an escape and a creative outlet. It is the way we stay sane, in the same way that people go to the gym to release tension.
That shows the importance of having a schedule to live by. It will help you write because you know what time to set aside. I find that I write most when I come home from work and uni at 11 pm. There is also a specific way that I like to write being being in my PJ's, in my bed with a cup of Earl Grey tea. When I have all these elements together the muse stirs. I try to do this, but nothing gets me motivated more than waking with the intention to write. I heard this from fitness guru Lorna Jane who says she wakes up each day with the solid intention to work out and be healthy. I take this in my own way. I wake up and say to myself, I will write today and mean it. That is the crucial part- I must mean it to the depths of my soul. I always know when I am lying to myself because it is a different feeling, but if I do it correctly, I always write.
I know I am not alone in this! So I say to all of you who suffer through this- keep writing enjoyable and don't force yourself to write. There is a difference between encouraging yourself to meet a deadline and making yourself do it if you truly don't want to. If you really feel like you honestly can't make your brain think, then don't do it because you will soon connect writing to hardship. Go at your own pace and do only what you can. You have nothing to prove to anyone.