My biggest momentum-killing foe is my health. I fight the good fight as best as I can, sometimes winning and sometimes losing the battles. Overall, every time I get something finished and sent off to a slush pile, that means I have won that particular war. Then the next deadline appears over the horizon and the fight continues.
One of my many medical issues involves a common writer’s ailment – carpal tunnel. When I first started getting it I did what most folks do: I ignored it. Then it evolved from a single soldier to a tank battalion running over my wrists every time I typed more than a page.
My first plan of attack was to get a new keyboard (a split version that kept my wrists at a better angle) and switching over to a trackball-type mouse (a Logitech thumb trackball marble). This allowed me to type more pages until the pain became distracting.
A friend of mine hikes the mountains of Colorado while dictating his 200K doorstop novels into a small recorder. He recommended that I look into using that type of setup. I picked up some quality studio equipment and Dragon Dictate 13. After training it by reading some of my books so it understood my writing style, I can now write very fast if I can remember the words I want to use. I just have to remember to say “period, new paragraph, open quotes” at the right time. Overall I’ve been quite happy with it and use it exclusively for longer projects.
Something that comes up on a lot of the convention panels are new authors suffering from writer’s block, which is a symptom of issues with resistance. I always say I think writer’s block is your brain’s way of telling you that you don’t really know what comes next, so you should let it percolate for a while in brain brine. At any given moment I have multiple projects in work at once, so if something needs more stewing I can switch over to something else. Heck, I can even just go and write a blog post or five and schedule them on my website or send them off to other blogs that I contribute to on occasion. Writing is writing, after all.
I know that not everyone can jump from a science fiction novel to a nonfiction article on worldbuilding to poetry, but that’s one of the few good things about being an Asperger’s author. I’ll take all of the positives I can muster!
Laziness and Goals
There are times when I’m just feeling lazy or I want to watch a movie. Instead of indulging myself, I use those longings to set up a small writing goal with the reward being what I want at that time. I force myself to do some work to earn the payoff. This also helps me to keep writing as a time priority, which I find vital as a professional writer.
Of course, now my evil inner momentum-killing foe wants me to go watch a movie as soon as I click the “post” button. We’ll see, my inner demons, we’ll see…