Firstly, I’d like to apologize for the lack of a post last Monday. For some reason I could not connect to our site, and whatever the problem was it lasted until Tuesday morning.
Secondly, I’m truly at a loss for a subject to write about today. The last few weeks have taken a toll on my sanity and writing ability because I haven’t been able to sit down and really write anything. I think it’s just stress due to kids being home all day every day, plus, I have a boatload of people heading my way this week and about a million things to do before they get here. Plus, throw a bridal shower in there this coming weekend. Oh, and writing group. I’d love to say there’s been no time to write but, well, there has been.
For instance, I could have picked up my laptop and gone downstairs and done some writing around two this morning when for some reason, my brain turned on and wouldn’t shut off. Although, I’m not quite sure what would have come out of it. Right now, my head feels like mush from lack of sleep. I would probably have written about the new-to-us refrigerator and how we managed to get it through my front door that happened to be four inches too small. Yes, it is in but now we have no idea if we are going to have ice (we live in Texas and it’s summer-ice is a basic need here).
Or I could have written about my new hair. It’s pink, and yesterday I had it cut in a new style, kind of 1960’s mod. They call it “scene” hair now, and apparently, it’s a hipster style. Okay. My stylist loved it and had fun cutting it and decided he was going to go dye his hair green. We had an interesting conversation that I have tucked away to possibly be used later. Needless, to say, there’s a lot I could write about.
But honestly, there is NOTHING coming to mind. I don’t think I’ve lost my inspiration, but everything is feeling off lately. I did upload something to my writing critique group but even as I did it, I knew it wasn’t my best. I just wanted to get something up because I hadn’t put anything up for a critique in a while. Neither have many others. Which brings me to what I decided to write about after all.
I’m not the only one struggling lately to write or find something to write about. We talked a little about it at our last meeting. We’ve sort of all fallen off the wagon with our writing and attending crit group meetings. Life came in and sucker-punched the lot of us in May and early June which led to several of us missing meetings. I only just got back to going mid-June, and it felt as if I’d missed out on so much. We’re a small to medium-sized group depending on the time of year, so missing one meeting usually isn’t that big a deal. But we only meet twice a month, so missing two meetings can actually set you back a bit.
We decided it was time to hold ourselves accountable, to writing and to the group. We discussed and agreed to submitting something once a month as well as not missing more than one meeting a month without notice. Obviously, life happens and it can sometimes take over in spectacular ways, and we understand this. However, it’s like an excuse note for school or calling in sick to work. You still need to let someone know what’s going on.
But how do you hold yourself accountable to writing? It was an interesting thought. Personally, I do a lot of writing where my blog is concerned. I don’t write daily, but I might as well be. I feel responsible for my blog, and when I see the number of views begin to go down, well, that works better to force me to post than anything. I like seeing good viewer stats and I enjoy it when people comment, whether good or bad. It means people are reading what I’m writing.
How can I translate that into writing?
Well, for one thing, I’ve begun seeing new ideas for the book I’m writing, and I’m actually quite excited about it. Two characters who were secondary characters have begun talking about their own story in relation to the main characters. And I love it. I have a background story for how one of my main characters even came to be. So, inspiration isn’t really the problem. It’s forcing myself into my chair and pounding away at the keyboard that I need to work on.
And that’s the second point of my post today. Finding the time to write. A month ago, the writing group discussed this very subject as a few of our members were having trouble finding time. It was suggested that we stay up thirty minutes later than normal or get up thirty minutes earlier. The groans were loud. Who wants to stay up later than they already do if they already stay up late? And who wants to get up early, especially in the summer?
But that’s the thing. You must MAKE the time. We have it; it’s right there waiting for us. We just have to force ourselves into doing something that, ultimately, is good for us, like eating healthy and exercising. If you don’t, your writing will suffer. Instead of actually writing a book, you’re just going to continue saying “if” or “when I get my book written”. Then, when someone asks you “how’s that book coming along?” you’re going to make excuses. “Well, you know, it’s hard to write with the kids screaming and arguing.” “I’ve been so busy I just don’t have time.” “The cat sat on my laptop and deleted it.” (Don’t laugh, this has happened.)
Stop making excuses and make the time to write. Thirty minutes early or late is not that much of time, really. It takes me fifteen minutes to shower and that includes shaving. In that space of time, I’ve had four new ideas pop into my head where I’ve said, “that would make a good scene for my story.” So why haven’t I written them yet? Because I stay up late and I like sleeping in.
So, my goal is going to be writing since I’m up late anyway instead of whatever else it is that I do that is, truthfully, just a distraction. Because I want to get my book written and published. Because someday, I’d like to be able to be an author at an event instead of still working on my first book.
Because the next time a stranger asks me what I do for a living that allows me to have pink hair (and it is so very pink), I can smile and say “I’m a writer” and give them the name of my book when they ask what I’ve written.