As I said in my last post, I seem to be feeling better today (those sleep habits coming into play again) so I’m expecting myself to get some real writing done today.
Luckily I woke up feeling good today and hopeful and even a little inspired so maybe I’m getting there. :-)
I’ve had a little visit from project block and normally I’d just move to another story for a while but this book is expected and I haven’t finished it yet. Since I gotta make a living, I need to work on this book, and lo and behold, that has added pressure to the writing that I don’t need—or deal well with.
I have to trick myself into changing my mindset and that’s actually pretty hard to do—although not impossible.
I’m also really not in the mood to write. And when there’s no one but me telling me I have to do this, well, we all know self-imposed deadlines and threats and promises of rewards are very unlikely to work for long. :D
They help, sometimes, but they’re no magic cure.
I just do not like writing when I’m not in a writing mood. I get bored with reading too sometimes. Like right now, I keep starting books, getting about a chapter in, and dumping them. Nothing satisfies, and I can’t concentrate on a book long enough to care.
Some of these books would probably have been perfectly fun to read, and I expect I’ll come back to some of them later. Some of them just aren’t for me and I’ll never read them. Those I’ve already deleted. Why bother keeping a book I don’t like? I’m sure not going to force myself to read them later. I couldn’t even force myself to read bad books in high school when my grades depended on it. Luckily, I was good enough at bullshitting my way through those reports and papers to do okay anyway. :D
Here’s a funny story. One of those books was The Hobbit. It’s a fantasy classic, but I just could not get into that book. I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, although I liked the movies very much. I’ve tried, don’t get me wrong, but ugh. It was torture! But I love fantasy. I’ve read The Belgariad (ten books, plus extras) too many times to count. Those are some of my most read books.
I start books, put bookmarks in where I stopped (if it’s a printed book), and go back sometimes years later and finish them. Sometimes I never finish them. And lots of the time, once I restart, I have no idea why I stopped reading them.
I don’t go back and re-read the stuff I’ve already read. I just pick up where I left off because I usually remember everything once I’m a few pages in again. Lots of people can’t do that. But, I’ve said it before, people are different. That’s one of my superpowers. :D
Right now, I’m barely reading. I’m just not in the mood for that either.
I think I’ve said it before, somewhere probably buried within the site, that reading tends to be my bellwether for where I am creatively speaking, and if I’m not in the mood to read I’m almost never in the mood to write.
But if I gave in to my moods all the time, I’d be—wait. I kind of am poor at the moment. :D
The sad fact is, I don’t really care. When I don’t want to write, I don’t write.
Getting past that is indescribably hard. I’ll suffer a lot to keep from doing things I don’t want to do—a lot more than most people would be willing to suffer, for sure.
I binge write mostly. The same way I binge read. I want to establish a routine that will help me write more, but I only want that because I want to be more prolific. :D It’s kind of a pie-in-the-sky dream but I am doing things to help it become a reality.
My daily writing streak is now 170 days long. That’s an improvement over my former record of 122 days.
My January word count is 19,676 words (publishable only, anything I deleted hit my word count as a negative). So I’m currently at my second best January word count since I started keeping up in 2012 and that’s with nine days to go in the month.
Small wins. :D I’ll take ’em.
Right now I’m in the situation of needing to write when I’m really not in the mood and my natural inclination is not to care enough to do anything about it.
I spend a lot of time trying to get past that by introducing other things to my writing that I find exciting or motivating: challenges, goals, rewards, talking myself around, blogging until I’m sick of it, running numbers in my spreadsheets, doing what-if analysis, imaging what could happen if I did this much writing or that much publishing, etc.
The goal of the daily writing streak was to help me get over the hump of inertia when I lose interest in writing for a while. That has worked on one level, but not as much as I’d hoped.
Yesterday, I had a little fun running some numbers to assess the effectiveness of the streak.
Over the 169 days of daily writing, I wrote 125,202 words.
Over the 169 days prior to the streak, I wrote 132,296 words.
BUT the 169 days covering the same time last year (and the year before and year before, etc.) shows the streak has probably made a difference overall.
Over the previous years’ same time periods, I averaged 35,225 words less than the current streak period, and not one of those periods had a higher word count than this one.
Yay! I’m glad to know it has helped at least in that regard.
Now if it would just make me want to write more than I want to write, since I totally want to write more than I’m writing! ;)
There’s probably a reason December and January are usually my slow months. And to be honest, I’ve actually done really well this year. I’m currently on track (extrapolating this month’s daily word count to the whole month) for this to become my 21st best month out of 91 months of tracking even if I keep trudging along and don’t improve any more than I’ve already improved. That’s nothing to sneeze at. :)
It just goes to show that for those of us who find routine difficult and boredom a mind-killer (and a will- and motivation-killer too) that you don’t have to accept that as the status quo. You can still improve if you find something that keeps you moving, even if you’re feeling like you’re moving through molasses (it happened, 1919!).
What I need is a big exciting idea to pop into my head and save me from this bored-with-everything phase I’m in. ;-)
Truly, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t write on any story right now. I’d just hole up and do absolutely nothing productive whatsoever.
But I will keep trying to move forward and get it done anyway. :D
Because there’s poor, and then there’s poor. I’d rather avoid the second one. ;)
On that note, I’m going to go stare at my book and write the next sentence and see where I end up today. :)
Since I’d rather not revisit this long post later, I named it Part one and will post my end of the day accountability post in Part two.