Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Change, Change, Change. Ugh.

First of all, to all those who celebrate it, happy fourth of July! Hope you all enjoy your cook-outs, fireworks, and time spent with family and friends. :-)

Now onto the post...

Change is something I think many of us have a hard time accepting. Yet, sometimes, it's the only thing people can really count on because of how constant it is. Everything and everyone ultimately changes, hopefully for the better. As a writer, I've developed certain habits and processes, but as time floats on, I'm finding my writing process changing. Every day, every word, every project it's changing. And I'm not sure how to feel about it.

I used to be a pantser. Outlines? Psht. I didn't need those. Writing on the fly was fun and exciting. I loved being surprised by the twists and turns my stories would take, and never had any interest in outlining. Well, it's safe to say that I am now an outliner. To an extent, at least. Outlining has proved to be extremely helpful in anticipating road blocks and I'm starting to wonder why I never outlined before.

I'm also finding that I have a harder time writing in my room, which is where I've always done my work because it's my space, you know? I'm becoming more and more distracted by the books I want to read, my piano, my TV...everything. So I might start going places to write, but this might be hard since I still write best at night. I don't think I should be wandering around in the middle of the night looking for a place to write, haha.

Most of all, though, I'm just finding it hard to focus in general. It's as if writing is no longer a joy. I'm in one of my infamous ruts, only this time it feels different. I'm putting way too much pressure on myself and I struggle to open Word and work on my new project. Where did the passion and joy go? If you find it, tell it to come back.

Have any of you experienced changes in your process and outlook?


  1. Sometimes a routine you get used to becomes stale, and you have to mix it up a bit! I find I write best first thing in the morning when I wake up, while munching on breakfast. Or, late at night when the rest of the world is asleep--assuming I'm not too exhausted myself.

    I definitely think you should try going somewhere else to write. Find an all-night cafe, maybe? Keep the internet turned off, and write for an hour, or until you have x-number of words done. ;)

    I take my step-daughter to the park up the street and bring my laptop along. While she's playing, I sit in the shade and without video games, internet, the house as a distraction, I get good chunks of quality writing done that way.

  2. As Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results." That's one of my favorite quotes, and something I live by. If I keep getting rejections, I know I have to stop and change something in my query or MS. Something big, not just noodling it around.

    It's hard to change. Change is scary, but it is so necessary. Great post!

  3. Changing even one small part of the writing routine can make a huge difference, even if it's only occasionally. I usually write at home before my kids get up and after they go to bed, but at least once I week I try to get out of the house to work. I usually find I get 3-4 times as much done in that one morning or afternoon at the library than I do in the same number of hours at home.

    And once I start losing focus at the library, I'll have to find another space to write in where I feel both comfortable and productive.

    The other thing is, maybe you need some time out. When you leap from project to project without ever giving yourself time to rest and recharge, it's easy to get burned out. Take a couple of weeks off and see how much you're aching to get back to that WIP when you've denied yourself access for that long.

  4. These are seriously the same exact things I'm going through. I used to write 15 page outlines, character sketches, the whole shebang. Now I just can't bear to do it anymore. Also I'm becoming more distracted by books and other things, and I feel like being around people more as a way to procrastinate.

    I need to make this work.

  5. I am making the move mfrom panther to outliner. It isn't easy, but I know it will ensure my novels have the structure they need right out the gate.

    There are times writing is hard. I know people advocate to write through it, but I think if you feel like your creative tank is empty, then it's time to take a break. Refill the well. :)


  6. I am a fly by the seat of my pants writer, but when I started college finding time to write was really hard. I ended up writing character and development in notebooks. Now that I'm out for summer I went back to those notes and it made it easier to get back into the story.

    Also a few months realized I that can't write in bed or anything soft. If I wanted to get anything done without falling asleep I had to be sitting up on a chair or in a desk. It was weird at first because it wasn't as comfy. I found that standing up and walking around for a few minutes helped clear my head. Now I get more writing done than I did when I was writing in my bed or on a couch.

  7. I can't write at home very well and also like to write at night. It's tough because there aren't many places around here that are open after 930 :-(