Monday, October 28, 2013

The Writer's Second Greatest Foe!!

As many of you are aware, I started a new manuscript a while back.  And, as you probably are equally aware, I was having difficulty making time to write.  Well, I’ve recently run up against another deadly foe of writers…changing stories.

You see, one of the biggest problems I had previously was that I’d never finish a manuscript.  I’d come up with a really good idea, start working on it like gang-busters (whatever that means), and then. . .   

And then I’d get distracted by another “great” idea. 

I bet I have a couple hundred stories half started on my various computers.

It’s a major problem with most writers.  We’re really good at coming up with characters and storylines and so forth.  Unfortunately, sometimes we distract ourselves away from what we should be writing.

Up until this week, I was working on a story called “Academia.”  It was going to be a fictionalized version of my life in higher education.  I thought it would be funny.  Kind of a satire about academics.

Anyway, I wrote four chapters before I began to get distracted.  I kept thinking about a character (Abby) from my second book, Betrayal in the Highlands, and wondering if she could hold an entire book just by herself.   Sub-plots came to mind.  Supporting characters.  The initial scenes….

And then I found that I was writing about her.  I actually wrote twelve pages today, which is pretty darn good for the first sitting.  And it isn't too bad, if I don’t say so myself!

But I feel really guilty about leaving the other manuscript high and dry.  Unfortunately, I can’t work on two manuscripts at the same time. I’d confuse the voice of the characters.

At any rate, hopefully I can keep with this second manuscript.  Abby and Becky would be fun to write about.  I just have to keep focused!


OH!  Just as an advertisement….  Riddle  in Stone is currently on sale for $0.99 at Amazon  and Barnes and Noble.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Writer's Greatest Foe...

Okay, well, I obviously haven’t been writing in my blog very much lately.  That’s bad.  But what’s worse is that I haven’t been writing for fun either. 

So that’s what I want to blog about today…why I haven’t been writing.

You see, I am a professor at a university and I’m a husband to a wonderful woman who loves me deeply and a father to two fantastic kids who don’t pick up their toys unless I hound them to do so.  I also have to workout and take care of myself physically, meditate, and all that.  Finding time to sit down (or stand up, as I actually do) and write is problematic. You might say it’s the writer’s greatest foe.

Whether it’s losing weight or being with friends, “I just don’t have time” seems to be the mantra of most people wanting to do things nowadays.  Honestly, how many times do you say it?  I probably use some variation of that statement five or six times a week.

“I’d love to pick up all the black walnuts littering the yard…but I just don’t have time right now.”

“I know that the car needed an oil change two thousand miles ago…but I just don’t have time to bring it in today.”

And so forth and so on.

What I need to remember is…we all have exactly the same amount of time in the day.  The issue isn’t “having” time.  We have time.  It’s “dedicating” time.  It’s about priorities.  It’s also about expectations.

You see, I always want to sit down and write for hours.  While that would be splendid, it just isn’t going to happen…at least not with any kind of regularity.  And writers need to write regularly.  Manuscripts get stale faster than bread.  We need to write frequently or the story dies.

What I keep forgetting is that we don’t need a lot of time to write.  In fact, my first book (RIDDLEIN STONE) was written in 15 minute increments.   Every day for about two years, I came to work, sat down, turned on my computer (dicked around on the internet), and then forced myself to write something for at least fifteen minutes.  I think everybody could find fifteen minutes to dedicate to writing if they really want to.  If they can’t, perhaps they REALLY don’t want to.

Fifteen minutes…five times a week.

It doesn’t sound like much—but it’s a beginning.  Fifteen minutes.  Bit by bit. Word by word. Scene by scene.

That’s going to be my new mantra  from now on.  Hopefully, by the end of next year, I’ll have something for you all that’s worth reading.

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress!