Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obstacles

What keeps you from writing your precious words every day? For me there are three main hurdles that I must fight with daily.

1. Time

2. Distractions

3. And this is the biggie--doubt.

I have to find a way to defeat these monsters day after day after day. My laptop helps with my time issues. If I'm at the hospital, I can write while sitting in waiting rooms. If hubby drives, I can get a lot down in the four hours it takes to get to the hospital.

Distractions are hard to deal with too. If I'm writing at home the internet disrupts my writing. In the car someone talking to me can interfere with me and my words. I do have my trusty ear plugs which I frequently use.

But doubt can freeze me. It makes me distrust that my words have meaning. I begin to think thoughts like, I have no business doing this. Who will ever want to read my words? I question my story, the way I'm writing it, and I could loose all my confidence if I linger with doubt for too long.

So what are your obstacles?

I'm trying to write 10,000 words today. I know I won't reach that goal, but if I can get half that, I'll feel satisfied. Megan joined the challenge. That's how I heard about it. Even if you can't get 10,000 words in, throw out the excuses and write something today. :)

21 comments:

  1. The doubt is really hard to deal with. I'm struggling with it too!
    But I'm glad you joined in on the challenge -- let's see what we can get done!

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  2. Megan-I wish us all a doubt free day! :)

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  3. I wrote a post on my blog about doubt a while back. It's one of the demons every writer must struggle with. When in doubt, I scroll through some old emails and find the ones from the people who have read my writing. Their words always help erase the doubt.

    Time - well, I write when I write, when I don't, I don't. I don't have the privilege of not having a life and having loads amount of free time to devote to my writing. I do schedule writing times during the week, and on the weekends. When I'm doing a WIP, I set weekday and weekend word goals.

    Distractions - life itself is a distraction. So, I write when I write, and I don't when I don't!

    Stop - stressing about not writing. We cannot rush our brilliance. It happens when it happens.

    Have faith - in yourself and your abilities. If you weren't a good writer, somebody would have told you by now.

    Set - reachable goals. Forget the 10,000 words in a day. Set a 2,000 word goal, and then if you move past that goal . . . woo-hoo!

    Life is all about limits and sometimes we silly humans set our sights far too high. I try to set reachable goals with my writing and everything else in life. Yeah, the 10,000 words in a day would be great, but with my life, it's not gonna happen!

    S

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  4. Scott, nice comments here, buddy! And some are easy to say, but when we get right down to it, hard to do. I can say, "if I couldn't write, someone would have told me by now." But in my mind, I'm thinking, who told me I COULD write. And it's something that I have to deal with every day. It's my monster! Self doubt in writing. It rears its ugly head, especially when I KNOW that I know that I've written really great words on a certain day. It's ugly man! :)

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  5. Doubt is my biggest one, but I've gotten better over the years. And time has gotten much easier since I got a laptop. There's so many places I can take it! :) Good luck with the 10,000 words! I'm diving back into edits, which I'm actually really excited about. :D

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  6. Great post. Doubt is a huge wall to overcome, but it's not insurmountable. Don't feel bad however, since so many of us get plagued by the same thing.

    Oh, and I corrected my recent post that accidently attributed my inspiration to B.J. instead of you. Sorry.

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  7. Good luck with your 10K words! That is a great goal! One of these days I'll actually do that.
    Push doubt away. You rock! And you know it!

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  8. BJ-edits can be fun! Repeat that over until you believe it. I actually don't mind editing until I've edited my brain out. Then I'm ready to be done with 'em! :) And next week is unplug week, so you'll have lots of time for them!

    Eric-Aw heck, we know BJ inspires us all. So it's okay, my friend. I'm glad I'm not in this doubt thing by my little lonesome though. Good to have company. :)

    PJ-I won't get to 10,000, but even a third of that and I'll be happy. Tomorrow I'll let everyone know how I did. Yeah! I rock! And I know it! Really? :)

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  9. I've read both your last posts. First of all, I'm angry with that man, as well. He'll pay for what he's done someday. Keep us posted about her, please.

    Everything gets in the way of my writing. But most of all, I think self-doubt gets in the way. It's a very large hurdle to get over, I know.

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  10. Lately, my biggest obstacle has been energy. I don't feel like I have the energy to give my writing the attention that it deserves, so I end up not trying. With my first book, I wrote most of it in 15 minute intervals after I'd get home from graduate school and before I went to bed. Now, I feel like I need longer stretches, more concentration, and more energy. I'm hoping that has to do with my having the skills to put more into the writing that I couldn't put into it before.

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  11. Doubt is a big one for me too, Robyn. And the other biggie for me is role juggling. I'm wife, mom, student and writer. I find that the really crazy days crush my creativity. I'm just too tired to write. Summertime is more tricky too, with the lack of schedule.

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  12. Michelle-I will keep you posted. I'm so sorry that poor Ohio has to deal with him but I'm glad that NC is well rid of the skunk!

    The self doubt is never ending. Or is it?? Do we get to the point that we lay it down? PJ? Have you been able to lay it down, for good? :)

    Davin- my friend, energy is a good one to add to the list. I've been exercising two-three hours a day. Trying to take off the excess pounds that accumulated from Seventy-Two Hours. And I'm short on mental and physical energy. So energy is on the list!

    I think you're right. It probably does more to do with the fact that you are a more skilled writer now. And focused too. :)

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  13. Amy-summertime is harder. With all the swimming there is to do! :) But my energy level goes up and down depending on the day. And it is harder to write with the longer days. You'd think it would be easier. :)

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  14. Luck with you're words. Even half of 10K is amazing!

    Energy is a big thing. If I'm really tired, it makes listening to the characters babble all that much harder. :D

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  15. Danyelle-thanks! If I get half! :) Energy is a huge factor. It makes me tired just thinking about it. :)

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  16. Too bad the ear plugs can't drown out the inner voices, huh? I think all writers struggle with doubt, but you just gotta push ahead.

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  17. I think my obstacles are def. the same as yours. It's a challenge, for sure, esp. with doubt. That's the worst one for me, because no amount of practicality can seem to kill that thing.

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  18. Angie-Yep, it's those inner voices that I can't seem to plug out! :)

    Jessica-No matter how much I learn,no matter how polished my MS is, I still have that lingering doubt. It's tormenting at times. :)

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  19. 10k in day? That's... a lot more than I've ever managed. It's probably not impossible, but there are some major RL distractions running loose at the moment. Work and kids being the top.

    As for doubt, ignore that nasty little voice. It's not going to serve you well. Write because you love it and let the accolades fall where they may.

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  20. Liana-Exactly! I do write because I love it. But I want to see my books in print. That's where the doubt comes in! Thanks and the 10,000? Didn't happen. I did get words written though. More than I probably would have. :)

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