The internet and blogosphere is full of great (really great) writing advice. Countless published authors offer their top tips for successful writing and muse on their own writing journeys – literary mana for aspiring writers like me. I read to find similarities, little nuggets of wisdom I could apply to my situation or to remind myself that the great masters are prone to the same distractions as beginners. My twitter feed and blogroll is full of them.
I have become the eternal disciple; endlessly seeking enlightenment; never quite reaching nirvana. Reading and nodding my head, “tell me more O wise one…” What I have, actually, found is a new way to procrastinate. If I were to add this to my ‘writing road’ analogy it would be graffiti scrawled on the tunnel walls (pretty good graffiti!).
No matter how cosy and safe it is here in my tunnel, I know it’s time to stop dreaming and face reality. My focus has to be; the light at the end rather than the darkness within; outside exposed to the elements rather than hiding away unseen in a cosy corner.
I have also developed various rituals I ‘need’ to go through to get to the magic writing place – purging my inboxes, twitter, checking/making blog comments, laundry, planning dinner…
Have I written enough to have this many bad habits?
The short answer is no.
In the last few days I stopped reading quite so much; quit my email application as soon as the inboxes were cleared; bookmarked twitter links to read later and added 2500(ish) words to my novel and wrote this blog. Ta da!
However, I believe reading about others success stories and journeys to success provides me with positive affirmations helping me to my end goal – but only when appropriate. I have a daily target of 500 words, which means that by May I should have a full first draft of my book. Add to that the writing weekend given to me by my darling husband and I might be done sooner.
After completing the first draft I will reward myself by painting a picture of smallest child (to sit next to the one I have of eldest child). I’ll also get a chance to pen the short story ideas I’ve been saving up.
I have a target, I have a plan and a yummy carrot dangling at the end. I’m not in the light yet but I have sunglasses, umbrella and kagool (an essential piece of nerd equipment) ready for the great outdoors.