Thursday, July 19, 2012

Revving up to Write

I don't know about you, but I'm not the most efficient writer.

Call it clearing my literary throat, but I can't seem to get into the groove of writing unless several things are off my plate.  This is what a normal writing session is like for me.

1. Sit down. Open up internet. Check email, Twitter, blog, forums, Facebook, my favorite Facebook game.
2. Get annoyed with myself for being unproductive. Send off two more emails.
3. Log in remotely to work and do some doctorly stuff.
4. Pretend to crack knuckles. (I can't, that hurts me.) Open up Word or Scrivener.
5. Realize I need caffeine. Make coffee or tea.
6. Drink said coffee or tea.
7. Realize I'm hungry. Get food. Consume food.
8. Check Twitter, email, blog, forums, Facebook.
9. Visit several blogs. Laugh out loud. Draw untoward attention to myself, if I'm in public. Slouch in chair.
10. Look at manuscript again. Narrow eyes like a hawk.
11. Realize my fingers are sticky. Go wash them.
12. Check Twitter.
13. Tell myself to stop being so flutter-brained and get to work.
14. Write a few words. Realize bladder is full. Go take care of that.
15. Write some more. Try not to look at Facebook. Close forum windows.
16. Realize that my teeth are furry from the coffee.
17. Go brush teeth.
18. Floss.
19. Write some more.
20. Realize it's lunchtime. Pack up and growl at myself for being so unproductive.

And so on, and so on. I need a personal assistant to shut all that other stuff OFF.

So what about you? How do you revv up to write? Or get anything done, for that matter?

51 comments:

Andi said...

Um. Ditto.

Jasmine of ❤AdamAlexMommy❤ said...

well said, lydia. :)

Jaime Loren said...

Oh God, yes. This is me exactly.

Which is why I'm reading your blog right now. :P

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't signed up for FB yet - but other than that? Yeah :)

ryan graudin said...

Sounds like you need MacFreedom! I use it whenever I know I'm intentionally wasting time on the internet!

Melissa Sarno said...

This sounds veeery familiar :)

Deborah Walker said...

I've got a pomodoro and I'm not afraid to use it.

Starting-- tomorrow.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

This is how I've felt lately with my latest revision. I'm just so tired of revising this book, but I really want to get it done so I can move on!

Barbara Watson said...

I can do what needs to be done when I need to do it. But don't hate me, please, because sometimes my ability to focus or get things done is at the expense of people. For instance, I can be all wrapped up in what I'm writing, and one of my kids stops by to talk. They talk, but I'm not really listening. So...there are all kinds of balances needed in life.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

It is time for a restructuring of your schedule! LOL. Why not treat FB as dessert - to be enjoyed AFTER the main meal of writing at least one page of your WIP's prose.

Of course, your doctor duties come first, then your WIP, THEN FB and emails.

If your dream is important, you must treat it as such ... not as a begging street kitten.

I tell this to myself every day! LOL. Great post as always, Roland

Yvonne Osborne said...

I can ignore all that stuff, but I can't ignore the garden. When the growing season is at hand,the writing suffers.

Angela V. Cook said...

Haha! This could've been written by me! Making things even worse, though, is my incessant need to check social network sites in the middle of writing!! As soon as I get stumped, it's like an excuse to "take a break." I take comfort in knowing I'm not the only one; I think this is VERY common with a lot of writers. It was even joked about on a Simpsons episode (Lisa was trying to write a novel, but kept getting "distracted").

This was such a cute post--LOVED it :o)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Flutter-brain Anonymous here. yup. :D

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Lydia, That is SO me! It's like getting into the pool one tiny inch at a time.

That's why I do my best writing late at night. I've taken all day to work up to it! :D

T C Mckee said...

Are you in my closet? With the exception of the Facebook game, you just described my morning to a T.
It's okay to be unproductive sometimes. But I've usually found that's not really the case. Even when it looks like we've done nothing, even time away does magical things to our writing. Progress isn't always so easy to define. Or...maybe I'm just justifying this second cup of coffee. Whatever works, right?

Shelly said...

Oh, this rings so true! Had a good laugh at reading this-

Carrie Butler said...

21. Read Lydia's blog post.
22. Snicker at how similar our writing sessions are.
23. Go back to manuscript.
23. Write two sentences.
24. Jump when phone dings with new email.

And so on, and so... ;) Great post!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Great honesty Lydia. I thought I was the only one that pretends to crack knuckles to get serious.

Miranda Hardy said...

I thought you were writing your process, not mine. I actually work during the week, so my writing process begins when I get home and ends with my falling asleep while my WIP stares at me.

Christina Lee said...

Wow, are you in MY head (or house)? I find I need to shut down the itnerwebz and give myself little rewards (oh, look I wrote something, now I can check Twitter)! heh heh

Matthew MacNish said...

So true. Personally, I check all this crap even while writing sometimes. That, and I sometimes go back and forth between drafting my own MS, and critting someone else's.

Deb Salisbury said...

What Carrie Butler said. :-)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Ha! Awesome! This is pretty much my writing day, too. Although, I'm slowly getting better at not checking blogs or forums before I've written my quota. I find those to be the biggest time and energy consumers, whereas I can do Twitter and FB in little bursts that don't distract me too much.

I really don't know how I get anything done. Then again, last-minute panic is a great motivator!

Louise Bates said...

ME TOO.

Or, go online to look one thing up for the WIP. Realize half an hour later that I'm all caught up on Twitter but have completely forgotten my original purpose in getting online.

Old Kitty said...

My one starts with:

Log into pc. Blog, blog, blog. Open up latest WIP. Yawn. Blog, blog, blog. Stare at word document. Feel sleepy. Sleep.

LOL!!! I think I need a personal assistant to just slap me!

Take care
x

Bethany Elizabeth said...

You've captured it perfectly - story of my life. :D In fact, that's kind of what I'm doing right now...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Most of my blogging is done from work, so that usually clears my evening for writing.

Laura Josephsen said...

Oh, yes, distractions. I know them well. I really just have to go "I AM WRITING NOW" and make myself do it sometimes. Other times I'm so caught up in the story that I can't STOP writing. I like those times a lot because it's less discipline than "if I don't get this out my brain might explode!"

A Lady's Life said...

I'm like that too lol

Em-Musing said...

Phew! Guess I'm normal after all. Let me/us know if you find a remedy

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Ha ha, Lydia. Can I just copy and paste this for my next post. I'll just delete the doc bit and add tutoring. I think most of us are the same. It's a wonder we ever get anything done!

Jayne said...

Lydia - haven't been here to visit in a while, and I come back to find this this beautiful new site!

We share the same writing habits. I find that if I open up my browser, I'm doomed to fail. You can download Freedom from the web and lock yourself out of digital distractions for as long as you want, you know? But if you're like me, you'll start to feel anxious about being banished from all connections!

Congrats on you book! ;)

Heather said...

LOL! That sounds exactly like me! I have so much trouble focusing if I feel like I don't have all my other stuff done and out of the way.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like me. Reading so many blogs and my blogging duties take a lot of time from the writing. Sigh.

Krispy said...

This sounds eerily like my writing routine. I have to do ALL THIS OTHER STUFF first or like "get settled" before I can really start. And then I'm like *type type* check twitter* type* and it's so slow that way! :P

bethchristopher.com said...

I'm laughing at how everyone commenting feels the exact same way. So do I. Blasted internet/FB/Twitter! Yet collectively, we all must be doing something right, as it seems more folks are getting published, there are so many amazing blogs, etc.

I feel all of these distractions, until I'm called to take a 10 minute power nap. And THEN I feel ready to write.

The Golden Eagle said...

My system is remarkably similar to yours.

DL Hammons said...

You left out trying to sink three point shots with wadded up pieces of paper into the trash can. :)

Botanist said...

Apart from Twitter and Facebook - which I avoid like the plague - this sounds eerily familiar :(

Sarah said...

Yup, yup, yup. Sometimes I have to clean the whole apartment first, because heaven forbid I write with a dirty living space.

Clarissa Draper said...

That sounds like my life. It's so hard because writing is hard and for me, I need no distractions.

mooderino said...

I find myslef looking out the window and wondering what that dog is sniffing on that lamppost. And is that bus driver a man or a woman.

mood

Sarah said...

Yes, this is me (minus the Facebook). Part of me wonders how much more I'd get done if I didn't do all this stuff, and part of me wonders if that kind of temporary distraction is necessary for me to be able to keep my brain moving. Verdict is still out.

Linda Gray said...

"Fifteen or thirty minutes a day, and you'll get there." Someone said that last night at a wine party where we were talking about writing. I sure hope they were right, for all our sakes!

Liza said...

I am with you up until number 5 (minus the knuckle-cracking and the doctor stuff.) Then I can usually get myself to settle in and get some work done.

Karen Lange said...

Wow, so you do this too? When my ship comes in I'm hiring a personal assistant to take care of that stuff for me. If you want, we can do a biweekly thing, where you get the assistant for two weeks, I get them for two weeks. It could totally work. Heading down to the dock, lawn chair in hand, to wait for that ship. Will keep you posted.

LD Masterson said...

Most of the ones you mentioned plus - try to get mind going with a quick game of online sudoku. Or two. Or...

LisaAnn said...

Hahahaha, you and I are writerly twins, right down to the sticky hands. Well done, my dear!

David P. King said...

I can't believe how similar your pattern is to mine. Seriously. There needs to be a program that only allows you to look at FB or twitter after writing x amount of words or something. :)

lbdiamond said...

Hahaha! I think you're channeling me.

Carol Riggs said...

Hahaaa, I've missed you, girl! I can relate to all this. Especially the social network sites--FB, email, blogging. So distracting! :) I revv up by giving myself a thorough talking to, reminding myself that my books aren't going to write themselves. It works...most of the time. :D

 
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