Back to writing (for reals!)

Okay, enough is enough. It’s time for me to stop stalling and get back to writing. It’s time to put away the excuses and just get started again. I’ve been dragging this out long enough.

It seems to me that I have been looking for excuses to avoid writing:

  • I’ve been busy at work. (Well, stop being lazy, get your ass out of bed at 5am and write for an hour. Even¬†an hour a day is better than what I’ve been doing.)
  • But I’ve also got the blog and the columns. (Yes, but you know that if you were a little more disciplined, you could plan your time accordingly.)
  • And then there’s the reading. There’s so much reading to do. (Well, do I really have to be doing all that reading. Surely there are some things I can cut.)
  • But I’m just too tired. (Well, get back into shape and you’ll feel better.)

I¬†set some writing goals at the beginning of the year. I’ve met some of them, but as far as writing goes–actual writing–I’m far behind where I should be. But that is going to change.

I think I hit a bit of a rough patch as far as writing goes, and lost a little confidence, but a recent critique of my latest story made me feel much better about how I’m doing. Also, there is some amount of internal pressure (internal from me, you understand) to play the part of professional writer. ¬†But the truth is I don’t even know what that means. What I need to do is just sit down in from of the keyboard for an hour or so every day and write. I need to stop worrying so much about whether the story feels like it is something that will sell, and start telling good stories again.

Feeling tired hasn’t helped. To that end, I really need to get back into shape. I think I was in the best shape of my life in early July 2007–and oh how the mighty have fallen in the 4 years since. I can’t remember the last time I stepped on the elliptical, lifted a weight, did a push up. Again, my excuse is time. (Do I write or workout?) But I know from experience that once I get into a good exercise groove; once I’m eating better; I feel better, I have more energy and I even think better and all of those things help with writing.

I’ve even found myself making little excuses when I do sit down to write: well I should clean off the desk first. (Why? How on earth is that going to help with my writing?)

So beginning this weekend, I’m back at it. Every day. I’m aiming for whatever I can get done in an hour. At my best I can do a little more than 1,000 words, but I’ll take what I can get. But for one hour every day, I’m sitting in front of that keyboard and writing. Ideally, it will be the first hour of every day, and like some other writers I know, I won’t allow myself to do anything before the writing gets done in that first hour. Get up in the morning, write for an hour–then check email. Check RSS. Check Twitter. But when I’m writing, I’m dead to the world.

I have a novelette that I’ve gotten a decent start on. I’d like to finish it and have it in the mail before Readercon. If I spend an hour every day between now and then working on it, I think it is possible.

One of the things I did when I was working out four years ago was provide a daily report on my workout. It was as much for me as those following along. I think a similar thing will be helpful for the writing as well. Nothing lengthy or extensive, just a brief “daily writing update” to say, hey folks, I did it today, and it went well. Or “I gave it my best shot but got only one sentence out.”

Ultimately, I don’t know what the schedule will look like. As I said, I’d like to get the writing done first thing in the morning. The workout will probably have to wait until the evening. We’ll see how it progresses.

Queue: Gonna Fly Now.

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