Just Write 2 – Get Words Onto The Page

Hey ~ V here.  It’s easy to say, Just Write.  It’s much harder to do.  Writing can be a lonely job.  Even when I have a nice outline and quiet time to write, I still find reasons to procrastinate.  I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t actually like to write, most of the time.  I love to create, I love to have a finished product I’m proud of, and writing is the only way to get those people in my head clamoring for attention to shut up! 

There are some who might say a trip to a psychiatrist could help with the voices, but I’m pretty sure I’m not schizophrenic.  I’m just imaginative.  And I would like to use those powers for good (and someday make a living at it.)  So, I write.  But the actual writing, the deciding what words to use and typing them onto the screen part, is kinda boring, and surprisingly hard. 

How do I do it then, you ask?  Good question!  Well, I’ve heard that “In every job there is to be done, there is an element of fun.  Find the fun and snap, the job’s a game.”  (Kudos to those who can identify the source of that wisdom!) 

So, I find the fun. 

  • I challenge myself – let’s see if I can write this whole scene today
  • I commit myself (again, not due to schizophrenia) – I’ll announce my goals to the public so that I dare not fail.
  • I might post my word count or goal on Facebook as a carrot and stick thing.  If the carrot isn’t enough to get me moving (I’m so proud to post a nice 2,000 words written today), then maybe the stick will beat me into doing better next time (Only 200 words written today – frowny face.) 
  • I could dare a friend to beat my word count (Susannah Hardy and I have a double dog dare starting on Monday.) 
  • I sign up for Nanowrimo.  If you aren’t familiar with it, read up!  Nanowrimo is a GREAT (Free!) challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.  Over 100,000 people around the world Nano’d last year.  They email you pep talks, give you tools to chart your success, and create local communities where you can go to write-ins with other Nanoers.  And Camp Nanowrimo is starting soon.
  • I start dreaming up my next project with the promise to get started on it just as soon as I finish the current one.
  • I reward myself with pastries.  Generally, pastries are off limits, but if I’m off to write 1000 words, an almond horn might be just the incentive I need.
  • I skip the boring parts of the story and write the exciting parts out of order.  I can connect it later. 

And of course sometimes the fun eludes me.  I might only write a few words one day and a few the next, but I know that if I keep plugging along at it, eventually, I will get to a point where I’m excited again and 10,000 words will just flow from my fingertips.

Today’s Secret:  Find the fun and do whatever it takes to get the words onto the page. 

9 thoughts on “Just Write 2 – Get Words Onto The Page”

  1. Hint: A spoonful of sugar might make this post a little easier to swallow!!! I heartily second the idea of giving yourself rewards for reaching small goals. It’s a great way to keep yourself motivated, and a great way to avoid being overwhelmed by the enormity of what you’ve taken on. (Write a whole novel? Me???? Are you kidding????)

    Yes, Viv and I are starting a double dog dare on Monday. Anybody want to join in? We’ve each set our own ambitious but attainable writing goal with the deadline of August 12. I double dog dare you, any of you, to set your own
    goal(s) and join in with us. (I’ll be chronicling my efforts on my blog, http://susannahhardybooks.wordpress.com/, so check in on me from time to time to keep me honest). Tomorrow I’ll be expanding on Viv’s post and talking more about NaNoWriMo, http://www.nanowrimo.org, here.

  2. Just what I needed to read today! Especailly the part about it being okay to write out of order…I’m waiting on some research, and it lterally has put the brakes on writing the rest of the story…why am I waiting? I’m using it as an excuse to not write.

    1. Go, Katy! Type in a bunch of asterisks or smileys where you left off and skip ahead to another part. That might feel weird to the teacher part of you, but it’s OK. It’ll be a Scribe Secret. Oops, guess it’s not a Secret anymore, is it? 🙂

  3. OMG. Is that what my problem has been lately? I’ve been engaging in major WAB (writing avoidance behavior) the last two days. But, I have been soldiering on. I tell myself that I can add, delete or change anything I want later but to keep typing, whether I think it’s crap or not. It also helps me to keep going when I have other people tell me they are waiting to read my book.

  4. I find that I love the acutal putting the words to paper process. Though it is like torture most of the time. Like root canal torture to find the right words. That being said I love the idea of challenging myself and have set a goal to finish my next manuscript by July 31st. I hope we all make it.

    1. So you’re joining us in the DDDare? Excellent! You can absolutely finish that manuscript by 7/31. The reason we chose August 12 is because we want to be ready for the CT-RWA (www.ctrwa.org) meeting the next day. Remember there’ll be an agent (http://rubenlaw.org/RubenLaw.org/Welcome.html) there! We will have to think of a reward for ourselves for completing our self-assigned tasks.

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