One of the biggest problems I have with being such a fidgety writer is that my mind is, well, fidgety. I won’t go so far as to say that I have ADD, but my mind does like to think in ten different directions at any given point of time. I like to call this my head being perpetually in the clouds.
Not that there’s anything wrong with this…
…or at least I don’t think so.
I suppose that, like many faults people have, I need to accept the way I think and make my world accommodate for how unique I am.
That includes the way I write.
On Wednesday, I wandered into my local library and made a beeline for the writing shelf–a collection of tips, tricks, guides, how-tos, and you-can-do-its for the “Everyday Writer.” I disappear into this side of the room when I feel the dreaded Writer’s Block grow out of the shadows.
The Productive Writer: Strategies and Systems for Greater Productivity, Profit and Pleasure by Sage Cohen caught my eye.
Flipping through this book, I got the impression that her audience is aspiring writers who have the will, but a million excuses to explain why they have no way to write. Cohen says that there is always a way to write and you just need to overcome the barrier that tells you otherwise. She talks about procrastinating productivity which I think is one of my flaws to writing. I always want to write, but then I look at my pile of laundry or the dirty dishes in the sink or even my new video game and say “I’ll get to writing later…” Of course, I never get to that “later” point of the day and then go to bed, kicking myself for not writing.
Cohen says to save yourself from the mental beating and, instead, write something else. She says that if you don’t feel like working on your novel that day, work on your poem instead (or a blog). Continuing the habit of writing is more important than what you are writing.
My favorite Creative Writing professor told how he would write only enough to fill a legal sheet of paper. He did this every night for months until he realized that he could make something out of what he wrote. Apparently his wife did the same thing in blog form, keeping up with a blog for a year and half until she noticed that her posts could turn into a fascinating book. Now, she’s working on just that.
I’ll finish this post by saying that this very post is me putting my words into action (which is a bunch of words?). I didn’t feel like working on my novel today so I decided to write in my blog instead. Being a productive writer doesn’t mean that you are productive in just one work, but are productive in many works. Limiting yourself is the last thing you’d ever want to do as a writer. By doing so, your words become stilted and meaningless. You are pushing against a wall and we all know that walls can’t move.