Posts Tagged ‘procrastination’

Project Avoidance

I’ve been working on this draft of my changeling story since, oh–hold on, I have to do 2020 math. Uh, February? I’d better check.

March. Or maybe April. I finished my scifi horror story in March and I don’t recall if I moved right on or took a break.

As of right now, the changeling story sits at 45K of an estimated 75K, though I think it may be running a little short. Which is fine! Revision exists. But anyway, we’re past the halfway point. In theory, we’re past the worst of the drafting process, because we should be in the home stretch and heading straight toward climax city.

But it’s not. I mean, it could be. But I’d have to actually be working on the story.

I’m not, though. In fact, I seem to be doing every other conceivable thing but working on the changeling draft.

Last month I wrote about 5K on the changeling story. The rest of the time I:

  • created all the slides for a SkillShare class, then recorded and edited the videos to go along with the class
  • wrote three short stories
  • made a blooper reel of SkillShare outtakes
  • read seven books
  • took a class on writing video game story
  • took a drawing class
  • signed up for a writing challenge

This month isn’t going much better. It’s the eleventh, and I haven’t touched the changeling draft at all. Instead I handwrote 3 pages on my luddite story, plotted out two short stories, and have mostly been sketching random things and sometimes reading.

I can’t quite figure it out. It would be one thing if I were having issues with the changeling story, but I’m not. Are there things that definitely need to be fixed? Oh, yes. Some big ones.

But in general the writing is flowing (when I do it) and the plot is continuing apace. There is no conceivable reason I have for avoiding it and literally doing everything else on my to-do list around it.

I want it to be done. I mean, I know it’s only been four or five months, which is about average for a first draft for me, but there’s no reason it’s not farther along. I want it done before Nano (or even before October, so I can plot Nano) so it can rest and I can pick it up again after Nano’s done. Totally doable, if I would just do it.

Thoughts, squiders? Ideas on why I’m avoiding it when there’s no obvious reason to do so?

WriYe and Life

Another month, and I’m still keeping up with WriYe, which may be a miracle. April was really good from a productivity standpoint, and I’m almost done with revising the nonfiction books (and writing the parts I didn’t blog) and creating the workbooks. Hopefully we’ll have more or the same here in May.

That said, on to the prompts for the month.

Life is busy, sometimes often insane. How do you find the time to write within your life?

I laughed since, you know, this is literally one of the nonfiction books I’ve been working on (the second to last one I revised, in fact).

But basically, it comes down to the fact that you have to make time for writing. You can normally fit some in, no matter what else is going on, whether you’re using diction while you’re breastfeeding or getting up early or dedicating one night a week as writing time. You’ll have to sacrifice something, but that might just be television time or a little bit of sleep.

That being said, there are times when you just don’t have the mental capacity to write on top of everything else, and it is okay to accept that and try writing again later when your circumstances have changed.

Me personally, I write while the small, mobile ones are at school, and I can normally make one or two writing group meetings a month, where writing can also occur. And one day each weekend I normally get up an hour early and get something done.

Bonus:
How do you deal with procrastination? What are your favorite tips/tricks to stay on track?

Ahahahahahaha I am the worst procrastinator. The current issue is games on my phone (and the dreaded podcasts, but mostly the games). I deal with this by using an app called Forest that locks out your phone for a specific amount of time (that you set), and if you successfully leave your phone alone, you get a bush or tree for your forest (more time gets more impressive plants). I also purposefully leave my phone in a different room where it’s out of sight, out of mind.

And if I do need a mental break, I’ll try to remember to set a timer before I get the phone or dive into the Internet, so the break doesn’t get out of control.

Hope April was good for you too, squiders! I’m in the middle of 50 million books and need to start finishing some (and stop starting new ones).

Marketing to Distraction

I’ve noticed something lately. I, like many people, I suspect, have a limited amount of time every day to spend on writing-related activities. These activities include:

  • Plotting/planning
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Marketing
  • Publishing activities
  • Ancillary activities, like blogging or market research

I would like to break these down a bit, so, say, I always have half an hour to an hour for actual writing, and maybe another half an hour for marketing/publishing activities, but that doesn’t seem to be the way things are working out at the moment.

So everything is currently coming out of the same well of time. And with the current climate of publishing, where authors are increasingly in charge of their own marketing, it behooves people to be aware of marketing techniques and to keep up with new and changing marketing trends.

And I realized lately that I seem to be denoting the majority of my writing time pool to marketing. But not, like, actual marketing. Learning about marketing. Taking marketing classes, readings marketing blogs, going to marketing webinars. Most are writing-related, but some are just general marketing.

Am I procrastinating? Is it an excuse to not do any real marketing, because I’m still “learning”? (Though, at this point, everything’s starting to sound the same and I’m pretty sure I’m not getting anything new out of anything.) Is it something that makes it seem like I’m being productive when I’m really not?

I hope to be able to better utilize my time now that I’ve realized what I’ve been doing. But I thought I’d bring it up in case other people are unknowingly (or in denial about) doing the same thing. Learning is well and good, but if you’re not getting anything done, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Have you ever realized you were trapped in the illusion of productivity? And to stick with marketing, what is the most useful thing you’ve found works?

(In other good news, my Kit Campbell Books and Kit the Editor websites are back up. They did lose some of the more recent content, so I will need to get them back up to date, but if you need general info, it’s all there, so go and take a look!)

How Important is Your Writing Space?

We’re just going to question everything, apparently.

I’ve seen a lot of talk lately about the importance of setting up your writing space. In theory, I think this is supposed to increase your productivity or the ease of your writing flow or something along those lines.

And do they?

You’ll have to correct me, Squiders, if I am wildly off-base, but I kind of feel like the whole “writing space” thing is just a way to procrastinate set up as creativity.

Is it good to have some place dedicated to writing? Oh, probably. You certainly need somewhere where you can work, where your kids/significant other/cat won’t bother you, some place where you can relax and get things done. But does it need to be this big ToDo, with fancy wall hangings and inspired decor?

I would argue no.

Why?

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I write all over the place. I write at the library. I write at various coffee shops. And even around the house, I write in the office, at the dining room table, in front of the TV while my husband plays Skyrim. Sometimes I write in bed (though not often because frankly it’s not that comfortable and because the laptop gets suspiciously hot to the touch).

And maybe there are people out there who can only write in one spot, and only if things are laid out in the best creative feng shui, but that seems inefficient to me and I kind of feel sorry for those people.

But because people like these sort of things, here’s my “writing space” (where I am currently writing this blog post, and where I do my freelance editing work, and write my serial and short stories, and sometimes novels, and also where I pay my bills, play on Tumblr, and listen to the current music of choice).

The space itself:
Writing space

You’ll notice there’s lots of books. And tribbles. And crocheted squids.

You’ll also notice that it’s wedged in the corner instead of facing my lovely, large bay window where I could, in theory, spy on my neighbors, because my “writing space” shares a room with my husband’s desk, the filing cabinet, our library, and occasionally a large puzzle in the middle of being done.

books

Here’s a sampling of books.

And here’s the one attempt I made at one point toward having a “proper” writing space:

Writing flair

They say “Imagine, Create, Inspire” and I never ever look at them.

So, what do you think, Squiders? Do you need a writing space? Or is that time that could be better used actually writing?