So You Wanna Write? (Introduction)
March 27, 2014 51 Comments
Writers, I’m sure you’ve been there. You wake up and you say, “Today I’m gonna write 15,000 words!” You jump out of bed, eat your Cocoa Puffs, switch on the computer, and ten minutes later when it finally powers on and the curser beckons you in a blank Word document, you blank out.
Hmmm… maybe some music will help. So you go to your iTunes playlist and play the one called “Inspirational Songs.”
“The Call” by Regina Spektor starts playing. Then you start wondering, What movie is this song from? So you google the song and come to find out that it’s from Disney’s Prince Caspian. Then you’re wondering if that’s a Narnia movie or a Lord of the Rings follow-up. So you google Prince Caspian and find out that it’s the second movie in the Chronicles of Narnia. Then you start wondering, Who played Prince Caspian, and whatever happened to him? So you hop on over to IMDB and type in Prince Caspian and find out that the title character is played by some guy named Ben Barnes and see that his filmography is filled with a bunch of movies you’ve never heard of. Killing Bono? What’s that? you wonder. You click on it and don’t recognize it one bit, but you notice that the director’s name rings a bell. So you click on it. Nope. Don’t recognize anything he’s done, either. Just a mistake. By this time “The Call” ends and the next song starts. “Well I fell down, down, down, into this dark and lonely hole…” The song makes you well up, so you figure if you’re going to get emotional, you might as well throw open the floodgates. So you Youtube the guy who’s singing this song, Zach Sobiech, and watch the 22-minute video for the fourteenth time. Next thing you know you’re in the bathroom using the last of the tissues and now you don’t even know what you got up so early for on a Saturday to begin with.
Meanwhile that curser is still blinking off and on behind your Youtube, Google, IMDB, and email windows.
Blink, blink, blink.
And it’s just waiting to hear tap, tap, tap from your keyboard.
And then when you collect yourself, sleep for a few more minutes, you return to your computer only to find yourself scrolling so far down your Facebook feed, Romney/Ryan campaign pictures fill your screen.
But when you finally get around to closing all your windows (by now you’ve digested your dinner), you’re met with that blink, blink, blink once again.
Blink, blink, blink goes the cursor.
Blank, blank, blank goes your brain.
The numbing drug-like effects of surfing the Internet all day has worn off. And now you’re met with resentment and bitterness for not having even come up with a synopsis or a one-page outline for your bestselling, Pulitzer-worthy, all-American novel (twelve-million copies sold).
Won’t you join me for the next few weeks in dissecting the difficulties of writing and how we can overcome the challenges of procrastination, distractions, and wrier’s blocks? I’ve written two books so far, and I’ve got two more in development, and I plan to write many more.
I want to teach you some rather unexpected tricks I use to accomplish my writing goals. I’m not saying I’m perfect and that I don’t get distracted (just ask my wife). But I have met goals, and I have learned quite a bit about the tedious craft of writing (all this from an easily distracted child of the 80’s.) And I want to share some of my tricks with you. See you in the next few posts.
Blink, blink, blink.