Scott is a drafter, writer, gamer, animal lover, dreamer. If I haven’t seen the entire world by the time I’m dead, then what was the point of life? People, places and all other things out there, I want to experience. Mysteries and adventure could sustain me better than any food I’ve tried yet. You can find me, sparingly, at twitter.
I have this book, 90 Days To Your Novel. It lays out methods for doing exactly that, writing a novel in only three months. This sounds utterly amazing, and I would love to do so, and I have tried, but I fear things keep getting in the way, and I always seem to make excuses to not do it. I never seem to be near a computer when I come up with that perfect scene, or when I am near one I find myself doing other things. Life always seems to get in the way. So here I’ve listed 15 of the biggest things that have taken my 90 day novel and stretched it into almost six years now.
You say the story lines help to inspire you, that the out-there ideas really push your own creativity, but it took me ten minutes just to write this tip since I kept switching back when the woman wasn’t looking.
Every night I’d play a round of League of Legends thinking, “Oh, we’ll crush them quickly and make the enemy surrender at the twenty minute mark.” Three hours later, I’m telling the guys there’s plenty of time for one more round.
I wrote three chapters yesterday, that’s gotta be what, like, twenty percent of my novel, right? I can take today off.
Not to place any blame here, and I always knew the baby was going to be a lot of work, I never expected a pregnant woman to need so much taking care of. Just helping her out of bed is a five minute process. The rest is trying to convince her to stop doing things and let me do them for her.
I have to apply to jobs every free moment I have. When not applying, I have to interview. When not interviewing, I have to come up with other ways to get work. Once I get a job, then, I’ll have the freedom to write.
Alright, now I have a job, making money. I not longer have to worry about creditors and the like. I get home around six o’ clock each day, sit down to a nice dinner, maybe watch a movie… and the day is over… I guess I’ll write over the weekend.
Awesome, now I can really sit down and write… but it’s such a nice day, I should be outside and active. Play with the kids, go out with the woman, socialize at the local social facility. Aaaaaaaaaaand, it’s Monday, back to work…
8-Staring at the screen.
Okay, so you’ve done it, you have found time in your busy schedule to sit down and write. Hopefully, your muse is just hiding somewhere nearby. Maybe if you will hard enough, she will appear and you can finally get to writing… it’s not working. Stare deeper into the screen, maybe she left something there to be found. The harder you will, the harder you stare, until finally that blank image is forever burned into your retinas. Maybe it will haunt your dreams, maybe it will simple consume your every waking moment… or maybe you will simply give it up as another bad job and try your luck next blue moon. Stupid muse, living on her own schedule.
9-Writing in your head.
That was one truly epic scene I just came up with, magical, moving, academy award winner for sure. I better write it before I forget. Okay, come on OpenOffice, the word open is in your name, do it faster… Okay good, now lets see… he was at school, and… and… okay, somehow he ends up in Tibet… I can fill the rest in later, anyway, he… *sigh* … nevermind.
This book is so exceptional, I want to mimic their style. No wait this one is so much better. What if I combine this character with this other plot? What?! Someone already wrote that? I wanna read it! Three of the series I read have come out with sequels? Well, that’s another month gone.
1-Adding things to your to do list.
I haven’t cleaned out the pantry in at least three years, or the fridge in several decades. The pile of papers to file has now filled the entire spare bedroom, I should get on that. Oh yeah, paint the garage, wash the car, groom the cats, oh yeah, and write my book!
12-Distractions come in many forms.
The clouds outside the window make you imagine some of your characters going out for a picnic. A dog barks down the street and you wonder if one of them would even have a dog. Your wall is painted white, that one guy you were considering adding hated white! Your shirt is dirty, when was the last time you did laundry? Do you even have a washer?
Writing is a lonely thing because people who aren’t lonely always have something more interesting to do.
14-Not having appropriate liquid addiction.
Alcohol, coffee, or tea. Make your choice, as no choice is not a choice at all. I mean, what will you talk about with other writers if not the crisp refreshment that gets you through a long tortured night?
15-Not being completely motivated.
And here is the honest truth. That comic will be there tomorrow, so will all of these distractions, and probably new ones as well. This goes for not just writing but anything, if you want to write you can. Writing is not a fantasy, it is a job, hard, unattractive, and grueling. Fortunately, it is also an addiction. The more you do it, the more you want to. All you have to do is start, and force yourself to day after day until it is no longer work. It’s supposed to be your passion, so be more bloody passionate about it.
Sadly, as much as I want to be a published author, and thinking how amazing it would be to hold my book in my hand, the actual writing tends to be too much for me. I like my idea, I want to share it, I want to make something out of it, but I just don’t have the discipline for it. I’m the same way with blogging, it took me at least a month to write this post because I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But writing a story is different, I actually dream about my characters, and the world I’ve created. I talk to them in my mind, play out quick little scenarios of what they would do in my place throughout the day, sometimes I even find myself longing to be them. With that much invested, you’d think it’d be simple matter to put it to paper, but writing quite honestly is ridiculously hard work.