Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Losing focus

Spring isn't really my time of year. Don't get me wrong--I love the idea of sunshine and short sleeves. But with spring comes a noticeable drop in my writing productivity. It's so easy to brew a pot of tea and shuffle around in my sweatpants with Classical Minnesota Radio in the background as I work on that new scene.

But now? Now it's beautiful outside and I really don't want to be inside. I have so many more things to do outside then I possibly have time for. I can spend a whole Saturday in the yard and come in exhausted around 6pm, ready to hold down the couch for the rest of the night instead of rewriting a section.

I keep putting my creative pursuits off for another day in the spring. But then the spring turns to summer. The NaNo CreateSpace proof copy deadline passes by like a dream. My book sits, stagnant. The characters wait, frozen in motion, until I can move them to the next place on my imaginary chess board.

And that's just my 2010 NaNo book. Let's not even talk about my 2009 NaNo, which is likely to be retired to a place of honor on the shelves as "The First Book." You know, that dreaded first book all authors talk about? Yeah, I feel like I'm well on my way to becoming a "real" writer because I already have that first book filled with darlings, stereotypes, cliches, and poorly-constructed rules of magic and society in a fantasy world.

Then I have this blog. This lovely outlet to the creative world, waiting at my fingertips. And I'm terrified. I've read and re-read most of Sommer Leigh's College of Blogging series and I know it's filled with great info, but all I can grasp is that I don't have a platform.

I don't know what to write about.

I made a Venn diagram when I first toyed with the idea of blogging. There were three main themes: writing, travel, and running. I have topic ideas from each theme and even some topics that cross both (running races in another country?).

But I come back to my first question, why would anyone care?

I have a funny feeling this is just a very long pity party. I feel overwhelmed right now because I know the CreateSpace/NaNo copy code expires at the end of June. If I have any shot of getting a free proof in the next six weeks, I need an ending, a massive re-write, and cover art (and let's use that last phrase "cover art" very loosely).

I need the outside world to stand still for only a few days so I can catch up on the inside. I need it to be January again. I need dark nights that start at 5pm and a tv lineup of repeats. Snow showers. Long weekends filled with crap weather that leave me no option but to hole up inside armed with a pot of Irish Breakfast tea and my fuzzy bathrobe while I frantically scribble words.

Them there are sacrilegious thoughts for many Minnesotans. But Spring is messing me up. I want to be outside mowing, weeding, planting, hanging laundry on the line, running up hills, walking around lakes, and doing anything but sitting in my office trying to patch my book together.

So when all else fails? Blog.


  1. "Why would anyone care?" Well, among other things because we like you, and might like to run/travel/writing too. We care because you do, and it's fun to share with you!

    About the CreateSpace... well, our goals might diverge in this, but I tend to use it as a way to have a single solid copy of what I did writing-wise in a year. It's cool to have edited, sure, but I tend to have more than one project which was written through a year, so I put them all together, staple "Anthology 20XX" on it and move on. :)

    What is nice is that the 2010 Anthology will contain some rewritten versions of the 2009 one. One day I'll be allowed to reread them and contemplate the progress.

    Anyway. Rambling.

    Maybe you could give yourself a week or two outside, enjoying Spring. In my experience, RAIN is bound to come back and give you writing time soon enough. ;)

  2. This, right here, is why i write when i should be working at the dayjob. Because then it frees up my weekend to do anything i want.
    Because i want/need my new WIP to be done before Renfest starts in August when my concentration will just fly out the window

  3. "But I come back to my first question, why would anyone care?"

    I was asking myself this in March and was surprised when my blog readers stepped forward to tell me how helpful my blog has been. I think you'd find the same. People care because you're cool and see things in a uniquely you way, because you post something that resonates with them, because you blog about a topic right when they need to hear it.

    Don't let the pressure of spring fever get you down - though lord knows I've been feeling overwhelmed the last few days myself. Lots of people feeling it. We'll blog our way through it.

  4. Claudie--I think the Anthology idea sounds great. But do you put everything you write in a year in it? Multiple drafts of one WIP, or multiple WIPs?

    Sarah--RenFest!? Do you go for fun or do you perform (also, presumably for fun)? And one of my solutions is to get back to writing on my lunch hour. Time to get back into the habit of bringing my iPod, eating at my desk, then heading to a quiet place to write. Something has to change.

    Margo--What is it about spring? Gah! But yes, I plan on blogging myself out of this. My other solution is to get in a schedule of blogs instead of realizing it has been 3 days and whipping something together. Time to get some blogs in the queue and treat this like I would a job. And thank you for the compliment. :)


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