Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Not to Write a Novel 6

I can't tell you how many times I've gone to clean something to avoid writing. If there is anything writers loves more than writing, it's avoiding writing. No amount of deadlines, no amount of "my publisher/agent" is waiting, and generally no amount of self-recriminations, can get those words on paper. 

And it's a fine line. There ARE legit chores to do. Get groceries, take the dog for walkies, call the accountant, load the dishwasher, and all those shows piling up on the DVR. 

Sometimes, at least in my case, no matter where I am on a project, beginning, middle, or end, sometimes I have to nerve-up in order to sit down and write. I have to marshal the courage. It's not easy. Sometimes it takes days, or weeks to pick back up where I left off. Sometimes I can't find the words. Sometimes, I look at the manuscript and then go clean the kitchen.


Charles Gramlich said...

I've noticed this and I don't know why. I think part of it is that writing really is hard work, and it means time invested in intense concentration, whereas all the surfing we do is flit flit flit.

Sunny Frazier said...

Love your comics! I shared this one on my FB page.

Che Gilson said...

Charles-I think it's the concentration, and how personal writing is, and sometimes perfectionism. It's easier to go do something we know we can succeed at, and, in the case of things like chores- still feel productive.

Sunny- So glad you liked it :)

Jewel Amethyst said...

I have the same problem too. I've tried to figure out why and eventually came up with an explanation. You see, I love writing and view it as a hobby. Well when I'm writing when there are chores to do, I subconsciously feel like I'm being lazy for sitting down and writing when I should be doing other more "important" things.

It's really a psychological thing. I guess if I can convince myself that writing is "real work" then it would become a priority instead of something I reward myself with after a hard day of work. But then, that can backfire.

Liane Spicer said...

Awesome, Che. This is me to a tee. Why? All of the above.

Chores bring immediate gratification--fridge stocked, clean spaces. Writing? The rewards are distant, uncertain at best, and often difficult to define. Also, these other activities don't require you to bleed on to a page. I believe that no matter what you write, something of the author is revealed, and this self-revelation is scary.

Did anyone mention the self-doubt? I never question the value of what I do when I fold laundry or wash dishes.

Che Gilson said...

Jewel and Liane- you are both right! It's all those issues and more!