Did you get the pun in the title? It’s a poor one, but the idea of it had me smiling on a Friday morning, so I went with it anyway. I’m finally back to posting on Fridays! I hope this trend continues, but I doubt subsequent Fridays will be as free as this one seems to be. As you may know, my life has undergone a major change and July was a very average month for me in terms of blogging as I didn’t have the energy (and sometimes time) to write blog posts. My creative writing suffered more, as my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of writing 5,000 words went by unfulfilled. I couldn’t write a single word, unfortunately. Here’s to hoping August turns out to be much better writing month for me. Today’s post is broken up into three sections: the first will talk about why I write, the second focuses on what problems I’m currently facing and the third is my writing plan that I can hopefully stick to.
Why Write at All?
Seeing as how I have a degree in engineering and have been employed as an engineer, it isn’t as if my sustenance depends on writing. It is something I enjoy doing in my free time and have been doing for 12 years now. Even if I wasn’t actually putting pen to paper, I was either plotting, refining a story’s structure or jotting down new ideas. It’s become an integral part of my life and I find that I express myself better via writing than via talking. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to people who know that I’m an introvert.
All that’s fine and good, you say, but why specifically write fiction? Why not stop at blogging or just keeping a diary? As you may be aware, I read a lot of fiction. My reading habit has been around for longer than I’ve attempted to write. I not only read for pleasure, but I have a book blog where I review and discuss books as well. All of this sparks my imagination and characters walk into my mind, demanding their stories to be told. I usually start off with hints of a story and the characters fleshed out in my head. Sometimes they appear in dreams, sometimes they hold conversations when I’m drinking tea or my brain randomly starts spouting lines when I’m in the middle of something else. I don’t have a say in this situation, really, so I just try to find a quiet corner and concentrate on the whispers of my muse.
Now that I have a full time job, why do I even bother with this when I clearly have so little free time? I’m not sure what the answer to this question is yet. I have so many untold stories inside me that it becomes difficult to do much else at certain times. Although I keep brushing ideas away when they manifest at inconvenient times, they pursue me doggedly and I make little notes on my phone so as to not forget them. That urge to sit down and transform those ideas into stories is what drives me, even though I know I haven’t sat down to do that in months. I don’t have big dreams of being published and getting famous, I just want to do justice to the story by completing it and polishing it to whatever standards I find acceptable.
So What’s the Problem Again?
These are going to sound like excuses, but these are actual deterrents to my writing process currently.
- My daily commute exhausts me, so forget writing goals, I can’t even keep to my blogging schedule
- I have 82492912 things on my to-do list because being an adult is hard
- I have too many interests that demand my attention as well like reading, watching TV shows and movies, dancing, cooking, etc.
- I feel like I’ll never be as good as the popular writers of this age
- I’ve lost the habit of writing and it seems impossible to start again
In essence, I’m trying to say that I have limited time and limited energy, so I’ve not been able to fit writing into my schedule and I’m being plagued by crippling self-doubt. Also, this section is way shorter than I’d anticipated because I’m already losing interest as I feel like I’m griping about insignificant things.
What Do I Plan to Do About It?
I’m trying to be more organized. I never planned my days down to the last hour because I like the flexibility it offers, but it’s just not working. I write down a to-do list every day that consists of a good mix of work and adulting-related stuff and my other interests. I’m trying a reward-based system now to hold myself accountable to it. I also want to try making a timetable for every day of the week on Sundays. The first Sunday of August is still two days away, so I don’t know how well that will go, but I’ve already planned what I’ll get myself if I stick to it as I’m notorious for not following timetables.
Since July Camp NaNo was a disaster, I’m not sure how effective this next solution might turn out to be. I signed up for The Scribbler’s Challenge, hosted by May from Forever and Everly. This challenge pairs you up with people and you write a piece in response to a prompt. You also critique your partner’s work and give the feedback to them at the end of the challenge so they can help improve their writing. I hope I can write my responses in time and I don’t know what the feedback will do for my already fragile writer-esteem, but I’m also secretly excited about it as it would help me get back into writing.
That’s my current writing status, hopes and dreams all rolled into one long post. I hope it wasn’t a tedious read. Let me know in the comments below the reason you like to write. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂