Author Archives: clancy

Distractions and Avoidances Conquered

…for the most part.  A little over a month ago I wrote about how I was avoiding writing.  Actively not doing my job.  And, though I failed that week in overcoming my issues.  I have since made progress.  Kylie asked for an update.  Here it is.

 At some point, a few weeks ago, I made a resolution (like for New Year’s – except I’m keeping this one) that I would wake up and write.  I would not check the insidious email distraction until I wrote for several hours first. 

 If I check the email first, then I get side-tracked by reading blogs, leaving comments in hopes of winning some prize for doing so, deleting the hundred emails I don’t have time for, answering questions, and doing tasks requested in emails.  Seriously, that can take me until noon if I’m not careful.  Then I try to write but my brain is fried from the afore-mentioned distractions, so I need a nap, and then I’m fuzzy headed and not feeling creative.  Another day gone and wasted and no writing to show for it.  Grrrr.

 But with my new resolution, if I don’t look at the email, don’t even open it until after I write, even if I don’t get back to the writing in the afternoon, I’ve accomplished my main goal of getting words on page.  HA!  Evil email and internet tool that I love, I have conquered you and I wrote despite your tempting ways. 

 Maintaining my resolution, I am working my way through my story.  Some days are more productive than others, but whether I get 600 words or 6000, I am getting closer to ‘The End’. 

How is everyone else doing?

Pesky Distractions and Writing Avoidance

I admitted today, to my fellow Fictorians, that I am avoiding writing.  This is the first step to recovery – I hope.  There are many reasons I am not writing or not feeling creative in the least.  The suspected top items probably include:  too many other obligations (writing-related and not), my work space is disorganized and a disaster of clutter, and my writing is still lacking and critiques tell me so.

 My plan.  I have a week before this post is due, so let’s do an experiment together.  I will try a variety of things to alleviate said problems and report if they are helping – on a daily basis.  I know you won’t see any of this until the week is up, but go along with me and we’ll see if it doesn’t help me and possibly you at some point in the future.

 Monday – Harsh critique has me depressed, but I have now admitted I have an avoidance problem happening, so this will be my attempt to correct the situation.  I want to take a nap, go to the movies or read a book. Obvious avoidance tactics…. And I succumbed.  I ended up taking a nap, watching a movie, reading and indulging in food therapy.  It was ugly.  But, I’m feeling less depressed.

 Tuesday – So far, still being distracted by other obligations, but I really do have to wrap up the minutes for my online board meeting.  So, working on that.  I’m second banana for my local Utah Romance Writers Conference coming up in October.  I got a lot done on the conference program and on the minutes, but no writing.  Still hopeful.

 Wednesday – Epic fail on the writing again.  More board meeting, more minutes, more program.  But, the minutes are done and the program is 75% done.  Had an evening field trip in relation to the upcoming conference, too.

 Thursday – Honestly, I don’t know what happened today. I did some reading.  Lots and lots and a painful amount of emails, as usual.  I had a powwow with my critique partner about the problem with my plot.  We came up with some thoughts.  Discussed going back to work on another story that I’m more clear on.  Ran some errands, did dishes and stuff.  Alas, no writing.

 Friday – My mom was off today, so we took advantage of her three-day weekend to plan a list of outside honey-do’s that we need to get done before summer disappears.  Something like thirty tasks, some small, some bigger.  Then we checked our storage room for supplies, shopped for the rest and started knocking out this list.  No writing.  Do I sound like a broken record?

 Saturday – More Honey-do list work with an afternoon break for a class and a meeting I had to go and then back to work on the list.  I am so tired.  I’m thinking maybe I need to just bully my way thru on the current writing whether it’s crap or not and just finish it.  I can fix it after.  At least I was thinking about it today. Sigh.

 Sunday – The Honey-do list got more than half crossed off.   Work around the homestead – 1 / Writing – 0.

Monday – My post is due today and it’s a new week.  Last week may have a been a bad week to try and fix this problem, but I did make some headway.  I got other tasks done that I needed to (writing, non, and around the house) and I feel more like stuff is off my plate so I can focus on writing.  I know I should be writing every day even if it is only for fifteen minutes or something.  Does my blog count?  No more excuses.  I will write no matter what!  Having thought about it all week and waffling on how to proceed, I give the current work two hours.  If I can’t write on it, I’m changing to a different story.  I still need to clean and organize my writing space.  I will dedicate one hour a day to getting it sorted out.  I have hope for this week.  Fingers crossed, ya’ll!

How Do You Write?

Some people have the luxury of being full-time writers and hopefully make a living at it.  Many, however, have to squish out time in the morning, evening, weekends, lunches, from the family, or whenever they have a few moments. All of these options are perfectly valid.  We all have to do what we can do whether it’s 20 words, 2000 or more.  Recently, I felt as though someone was disparaging my ability to produce with a comment about how much they produce daily.  I’m glad that this person has the ability to get the words out.  Right now, I am not able to.  It bugged me enough that I felt compelled to say to all my writerly type friends – to each their own. 

There are days when I am in the zone and not running a thousand errands and I am able to produce great words in good quantities or even good words in great quantities.  But, then there are times when I have family concerns, medical issues, time constraints (plug in whatever in life is slowing you down) and I am unable to produce anything.  When I can work, writing a short story might be no problem.  When life is in the way, I’m doing good to write an email or a blog. 

Is this a problem for someone who wants to write full time?  Of course it is.  And, do we all have to find that balance to have a family, day job, friends and… write.  Yes we do.  Sometimes, we even succeed.  Sometimes, we don’t.  But only we know if we are doing all we can or not; only we can hold ourselves accountable. 

The point, I guess, is – you know what you can do and when.  No one else is privy to the distractions, both serious and frivolous, that hinder you from you’re writing endeavors.  So, do what you can, when you can and don’t worry about anyone else.

Ideas are Cheap”¦ and Everywhere

“Ideas are cheap.” I heard this once from a panel of successful authors at a seminar, and I thought to myself  –  ‘No, that can’t be right. If I have a genius idea, it’s priceless.’ Right? Wrong.

     Then said panel proved it. Take any idea and give it to someone and their spin on it will be completely different than the next person’s and the next’s. So, any idea has an unlimited number of incarnations. Cheap. All our experiences create our perspective and that all plays a role in how we would tackle a topic. Cool. Cheap.

Whenever me and my CP are talking about something that happened to me, or I did, or I lived in the past, she says, ‘that’d make a great story.’ And, I think, DUH, why didn’t I think of that. Everywhere.

Really absorb these concepts, fellow Fictorians – anything, everything is an idea for a story and no two people will tell that story the same. Cheap and Everywhere.

How many of us have watched the TV show, Angel? Me? I own it, love it, discuss it… you get the idea. Yet I never had this moment of brilliance. What if you took the characters of Angel and Wesley and made them gay lovers with a BDSM slant to their relationship? No one have that idea? Wrong. At least one person did. When I found out the book I was reading was inspired by that very idea – I thought that’s freakin’ genius. The names are different and there’s a lot changed… because it’s through this author’s filter. But, knowing the characters that were the source inspiration, there were moments reading the book where I could picture them. I recognized some character traits. The author had an idea and explored it.

The point is that ideas are everywhere if you ‘get it.’  Tap into your inspiration and run with it. Ideas are cheap… and everywhere.

I challenge you – use the following idea, process it through the filter of your experiences, and where do you take that story? Share if you want.

IDEA: You just had several huge flower boxes built in your yard, and they’re big enough to hold a body or two…