As you can probably tell from just a quick glance at the past year of my blog I probably spend more time thinking about why my writing sucks and coming up with excuses not to write than I do actually writing, and even though recently I went on a roll I've since stumbled into some sort of middle ground between my usual and being on a roll – that is, I don’t write often but when I do write I churn out a lot more than I normally do. I find this amusingly ironic given the advice in my newly minted FAQ section; advice which I have been spouting for at least two months yet I am myself unable to adhere to for any considerable length of time.
I think more than anything it’s simply that I allow myself to get distracted, to stay a coward.
We all have a magical monster called Life that likes to intervene from time to time, with varying amounts of frequency from person to person, but really that’s no excuse to not write. “I have to go to class in two hours” or “I wonder what Alice/Phil/Lucy is up to?” are not excuses to keep from writing, not really, but I make them excuses.
They’re weak excuses at that too. “I can’t write now. I’m in math” is valid enough, except ninety percent of the time I’m not paying attention to my math class. I’m thinking about stuff or on twitter or reading, so clearly I could be writing.
And I think the reason I find things to intervene is because I’m afraid to keep on writing, afraid to move on to everything that comes after. It’s no secret I think of my writing as awful. In fact, my writing is awful. But by not writing, I never have to move on to anything that comes after, and by never having to move on to finding a beta or querying, I never have someone to absolutely confirm that which I already know.
But it’s a fear I’m going to have to get over.
Late last month I promised myself I would write at least 2 pages per day, not really expecting to reach that limit but under the thinking that if I say I will set out to do two pages per day, even if I can only achieve half the goal that is still excellent progress. It’s a goal I haven’t been living up to because I’ve been finding things to intervene.
I’ve done about three quarters of a page today. Probably a bit more actually. Math is not my strong suit. Unfortunately I really, legitimately do have to leave for class very shortly, but instead of just pretending to pay attention while thinking about other things, I’m going to work towards the rest of those 2 pages. And even though I hate writing in the evening, I’m going to work towards those two pages.
Sure, life tries to throw caltrops every now and again, but there’s no reason to go throwing caltrops for yourself. If there’s time, there’s time to write. No excuses.