Raise your hand if you have a problem with procrastination. Uh yeah. Feels great to know I’m not alone, but also a little disheartening exactly how widespread this is. I caught an article by Jeff Goins regarding how to get the work done which outlined the use of negative consequences to get one to finish writing. This is a little different from what is normally touted as advice. If you look at it as carrot versus stick, we are constantly extorted to go for the carrot. Positive things will help us do more. Rewards are king. Except that doesn’t always work. In my personal experience, rewards do not seriously motivate me. I’m the kind of person who would rather just do without than work for something I don’t necessarily need and if I need it, it’s not a good reward. That makes rewarding me a problem. That eliminates the carrot.
By contrast, Jeff’s article pushes the stick method: pushing yourself forward with negative consequences. One of his consequences: giving up coffee. That just makes me quiver cause coffee. I am unfortunately not an adherent to the stick method either. Consequences capable of moving me forward would also cause me a great deal of anxiety making me less likely to do the work instead of goading me forward. So, no stick method.
Seeing the problems with this, I went looking for a third option on one of my writer Facebook groups and a fellow writer, Tallulah Lucy, stepped up to the challenge with this post, How I Beat Procrastination. She offers ideas on the underpinning of her procrastination and how to work around that. My favorite thing: Finding the FUN in the task you have to do. Writing is fun except when you have to. When I’m just poking around writing whatever, that’s not an issue. Unfortunately, I have goals and things to finish, meaning I need to consistently be moving toward some kind of resolution. A bit daunting when I think about it, exactly why I procrastinate.
Taking Tallulah’s advice, I’m looking for the fun in the work I’m doing.
All good writing is rewriting. You’ve seen this quote all over the writing world and I do believe that is true. Unfortunately, I am not very good at it. I love the rush forward. I wrote my first book for NaNoWriMo in 2005. (In case you don’t know what that is, it is a novel writing competition which pushes you to finish a short novel (50k) within the 30 days of November.) The headlong push of getting from idea to finished product is like a drug for me. I’m discovering something new around every corner. The sense of being a kid in a candy store is overwhelming. I hesitate to say it is euphoric, but it is addictive. The downside: Revisiting places I’ve been is not nearly as fun. So, if all good writing is rewriting, how does one tackle what I consider to be a natural reluctance?
Continue reading Rewriting, my personal challenge
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Looking at this, I sort of want to reprint something from “Objects” but then again, what if I were to write something new and imaginative? After all, “Objects” came out in 2014 from work I had written long before then. I am almost certain I can find something in my demented little brain that will satisfy this opportunity. Perhaps something starring Aliyah? Plus the idea of putting in an ad for $10 is awfully appealing.
Okay, so these days I rarely start a project without having some idea of the people involved. Unfortunately, I have a small cadre of people in my head, all of whom are chattering away. I’ve already written three short pieces.
That’s the order of occurrence. However, those three pieces don’t really give one the scope of the entire project. Here’s the basic idea.
Alexander and Lorelei are together until an occurrence kills her. In his grief, Alexander attempts to find a way into the past to change things. Instead he rips into another reality where he meets Lorelei again. The problem: Their realities aren’t the same and something or someone doesn’t like anything passing between the two.
That’s where I am right now. Fury and others exist in both realities though they aren’t exactly the same. Should be interesting to see what happens with this thought in my brain.
I spend a decent amount of time on Magical Words which means I get to see the link round-up they do daily. One of the links from today (Dec 1, 2016) was for a blog post on Barnes and Noble entitled Mind Meld: Some of Our Favorite Characters. This got me thinking, what characters in my life stick around?
Like many writers, I am an avid reader, so I have a small stable of characters who have affected the way I think and even approach narrative. They pop up from time to time, poking their heads out of the things I’ve written as if to remind me of their continued existence in my consciousness. I’ll give you three. Continue reading 3 Characters I Will Always Love