Writing Woes (AKA MeTooLazy Syndrome)

I have no self-discipline.

Aside from the usual writing complaints (too many adverb-lys, dialogue, plot, characterization, jeez the list is longer than I thought, plot holes, cold coffee) my first and foremost problem is discipline.

Since the time I started writing full-time, I could have finished two novels, every short story start I’ve got and a lot more in the meantime. But I haven’t. Why not? I type approximately 80 words a minute, with few errors, and I’ve got imagination for days. (If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you’ll understand. If you haven’t, maybe you should email me and schedule a time to talk..)

There’s something different about writing a fiction story that isn’t just a page long, though. I couldn’t say

My son, the infant character. Look at that eyebrow!

My son, the infant character. Look at that eyebrow!

how it is for other writers, but for me, I’m not just creating a protagonist that does something — the end. I feel like a medium sometimes, between this world and the Other Side–a place filled with brighter colors, broken, bleeding hearts and real emotion. Depth. Going beyond 3D into well-rounded.

This is the place that spawns my characters and they spawn the plot of my stories. I might come up with an idea or sentence, a phrase that sticks in my head until I write it down, but none of the stories I’ve written are really my own. They belong to my characters. For me, it’s this method of writing that makes life difficult. I detest outlines. Hated them since I was a kid. For assignments, I always wrote the essay/paper out and drew the outline from what I’d written. And I really hate planning ahead for a story. The only place I work backwards is math.

Now, even though part of my writing is dependent upon my characters being where I need them to be when I sit at the ‘puter, the rest is really about me being where they need me to be when they’re ready to talk. I hear their call all day long. While I’m sleeping and vulnerable to them; when I’m doing dishes and debating whether or not to make more coffee; even while I’m reading a good book. Perhaps strongest when I’m reading a good book.

So basically, my method of writing is sitting at the computer and typing. I might have a note or two, some sketchy ideas, but really, everything comes out in that moment when the doc opens up and there’s a clean page to be filled.

It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but it’d be a lot easier if I just did it more often.

I feel like an addict to procrastination who quit for a while and took up writing. Then the old addiction came crawling back, slowly, a day at a time, until writing was shoved away. I’m trying to upgrade, I need a heavier monkey on my back. Something that’ll pick at me a little more than procrastination does.

Any other writers out there with discipline problems? What do you do to get yourself writing?

I wish I could offer my own hints and helps with the lazy disease, but as I’m still kind of new, I haven’t found a strategy for battling that monster just yet. I just by the best I can everyday. Maybe that’s all it is. Taking each day at face value and using up every minute of it you can.

Either way, I’m going to get some (more) coffee. It doesn’t really help, but it sure tastes good.

Talk about a lively cup of joe.

Talk about a lively cup of joe.

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