Not normal...but lots of fun.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting Started

I want to discuss getting started today.

I DON'T want to talk about starting a project, a first draft, or an edit. I want to talk about starting something that should be simple: the writing work for the day.

I don't know if everyone else feels this way, but I have the hardest time simply starting my writing at the beginning of each session. I can sit my butt in the chair, I can pull up my WIP (Work In Progress), I can even read over what I've done yesterday, and suddenly, I'll be hit by such dread of starting to write again that I'm locked in place, unable to move the cursor.

It shocks me every time this happens. It doesn't matter that the writing the day before made me feel euphoric and accomplished (which it always does), it doesn't matter if I stopped at an exciting, perfectly pre-planned part of the story, it doesn't even matter if I've been waiting all day to do this. Dread fills me and I freeze in place, not wanting to start again.

Worse, my brain says: "Hey, why don't we go check out twitter real fast first? Or maybe read one blog post ABOUT writing? That will get us ready to come back and get to work, motivated and trained to do it right." Only that never happens. I switch over to my browser, check twitter and some writing blog posts and suddenly, I'm surfing the net, finding more and more to distract me from getting down to the business at hand.

It's frustrating, and it reoccurs every time I take a break from writing. I'm broken from the flow of the words, and ripped back into the real world. From there, I have to force myself back into the swing of things.

It's hard work. Not only am I transporting myself back from the real world into the imaginary scene I was building, but I have to re-frame my mind again, in such a way that I can translate that imaginary scene of images, sounds, and thoughts into real words that other human beings can actually understand and relate with. If I really do it right, they may even be able to see some kind of approximation of what I see.

It's kind of like my brain is a computer. Every time I walk away from the story, even for a few minutes to walk my dog, it's like I shut the computer down. And once I come back, I have to wait for it to load the operating system, software, and current project back up. Only instead of waiting, I decide to play on my already-switched-on Wii instead.

Anyway, any suggestions from anyone on how to make the new beginning process easier? Other than taking as few breaks from writing during my day as possible, of course. I'm going to be integrating that into my writing schedule immediately. But does anyone else struggle with this problem, or do you have something completely different dogging your writing footsteps?

Okay, now it's time to...

Writing Quote: "If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it." --Anais Nin

Thanks for reading, and happy writing everybody! Hope you're enjoying your time off from work/school!


  1. I've had the same problem nearly every day since it's NaNoWriMo this month. Either I have to start thinking about where I'm going to start long before I actually sit down at the computer or I just force myself to start, knowing that the first few paragraphs will probably be crap but I can go back and make them better later. That way at least I got started. Hope that helps :)

  2. This happens to me a lot so no I can't offer any advice :(

  3. Okay there, Happens to me allll the time. Especially when I'm writing a novel love. Apparently what I do, before writing anything, I always do the story plan and i'm the type of person to really and truly break down on every chapter, stanza etc of what I am writing. whenever I move away from the computer, I shut down as usual but when I get back I always look back at the story line plan that I did and i'm instantly back on track. If that does not help, try your best to read up the last few lines and get the imagination going. When you are really into a story, it does not run away too far. Stay unstressed girl. You'll be fine ;) I'll be back to check your blog. It's interesting!