Impromptu Weekend Write-In

I have a confession to make- I have been really struggling with my writing lately- especially these last few months.  I’m sure that’s probably not a huge revelation for anyone, considering the drop in the frequency of posts lately. I will have little bouts of energy, I’ll write feverishly for a day or two- and then it’s crickets the rest of the week. I could give you excuse after excuse; I could tell you that it’s because my laptop has decided to lock me out of editing documents due to a complicated technical issue I’ve been unable to fix. I could tell you it’s because I got sick again (seriously, this has been the year from hell in terms of health for me). I could tell you that life has just been too damn busy and I haven’t been able to squeeze in a few extra minutes to put some words down on the page. Or I could mention that everytime I sit down to earnestly start writing, that seems to trigger my dog to demand attention by singing me the song of his people and being a general booger. And while there is a trace of merit to these arguments, deep down I know that they are all a bit disingenuous. The bottom line is that I have been floundering and lacking motivation. I could have made time. I could have stayed up late an extra ten minutes to write just one paragraph. I could have pulled out my old trusty notebook when my laptop decided to toy with my emotions. I could have shoved tissues up my nose and medicated myself enough to type just a couple of sentences.  I could ‘down’ the dog when he decided to be crazy (this may sound scary- but it’s really just a trick he learned at puppy boot-camp where he has to lay down and relax for about an hour. Think of it like doggy meditation, I promise, it’s actually quite good for them). But I didn’t. I didn’t do any of these things, not on a regular basis at least. My motivation was gone, and sitting down reading a book or catching up on a show just sounded like the easier option.

But then I realized that this is the last weekend in February, and I have goals I want to accomplish, I have this shell of inactivity I’ve been hiding in, and it’s time to smash right through it. At the beginning of February I told a friend that I would do a little Nano-event with her this month. And it sounds like she is kicking ass and taking names, she is owning the page! I am so proud of her and all that she’s accomplishing. And me- I don’t think I’ve even hit 10% completion on my goal so far. And to be honest, it feels kind of bad, I am a goal oriented person, and I am highly competitive with myself. I know I can do better. But I’ve procrastinated. And there is only one weekend left, plus two work days that are already expected to be very busy. I’m sitting here in panic mode.

Lucky for me, I know how to rally when I start to see myself getting close to the wire. So you know what this means? It’s time for a weekend write-in! I haven’t done one in ages, and I am actually excited. Zach left early this morning to go skiing with some friends, so it will just be the fur babies and myself for most of the day- so much quality writing time right here at my fingertips. I have a mountain of ideas for this blog and a laundry list of my novel projects that need a touch of tlc. So in spite of my cranky computer, I am going to sit down and get to work.

I have always been a sucker for a good write-in. The trick is to set yourself up for success. Fist step for me is usually a quick trip to the store. I am a highly food-motivated person, so a little treat like Hershey’s kisses are a perfect reward after I’ve hit certain goals through the day. Not to mention the drinks: tea and coffee are top on that list, although I do occasionally splurge on a Monster (don’t judge me too harshly, I know they are terrible for me, but I’ve really decreased my consumption, and dang it, I like them). It’s also imperative to have some simple meals and snacks ready to go, otherwise you will find the excuse to go out and pick something up far too easy.

Next step: organize your area (if only just a little). I personally like a touch of chaos, but when my area is just a pure mess- I can’t handle it and wind up getting distracted along the way. Straightening up really fast before you start will typically save a world of frustration. One tip: dusting. I never notice how dirty my shelves get until I’m trying to write.

I only occasionally write with music, so at this point I may decide to pick out a playlist. I have to keep my kindle and my phone out of reach until my break times because I lack all sense of self-control (at least I can admit it). I might pull up a few little writing games- the nano message boards are usually perfect for this. Every now and then I’ll pull up the timer on my laptop and start running time-trials as I go to keep myself motivated. Like I said- I get very competitive with myself.

But in the end, these are just my own little tricks to stay on task and get the work done. The words won’t be perfect, and I will probably feel mentally exhausted by the end of the day. But I’ll have one hell of a word count to show for it if I did it right. So here goes nothing, my friends.

If anyone feels like joining in, if only for 30 minutes, let me know. It’s always nice to have others to commiserate and bounce ideas off of. Cheers to the weekend write-in, may the odds be ever in our favor. May the words come smoothly and the goals get scratched as quickly as I do when I try putting the cat in his dreaded carrier. Happy weekend my friends, with luck we will meet again much sooner than last time.

Author: katiebell318

I'm a 27 year old unknown writer who spends her day job working in the courts (rest assured- that place is stranger than any fiction I could write). I love reading, writing, random crafts, baking and hiking. I have a fiance and two fur babies (one kitten and one German Sheppard puppy) who make up my little family. learning to step out of my comfort zone and start checking things off my dusty old bucket list.

3 thoughts on “Impromptu Weekend Write-In”

  1. I’m just about to begin my writing for the day, so I’ll be virtually (and literally?) writing with you!! What I’ve learned over the years: it is OK to take care of yourself. Listen to your body. When it is getting sick so much, perhaps it is telling you to slow down. To rest. To build back up. The writing will be there. I am in no way saying to stop writing. Or to stop anything else. But listen and take care of yourself. I love setting my timer. I learned that trick in my writing group…just set the timer, put the pen to the page, and keep writing. Doesn’t matter what comes out. Doesn’t even matter if it has anything to do with your story. Just write and ignite the creativity. I recently adopted a new mantra: “Write and the Story Will Come” (as from the “Build it and they will come” expression). I was SO STUCK in my story line and had not even figured out what era I was writing in (who begins a novel not knowing something as simple as that??). So I decided to JUST WRITE. About 10,000 words in I took time to read over what I’d written, looking for patterns. And I found one. My era became clear. I began my novel knowing the beginning, knowing pretty much how I wanted it to end, but the middle was a vast black hole. I knew the message I wanted to impart, but not so much how. So, my next 10,000 words I did the same thing. Then I was out walking one day, mulling over the story – by now my characters have become my friends and I sort of talk to them (don’t judge) – and I asked Sofia where she wanted me to take her…what story she wanted me to tell? And she answered! (Okay, you can call me Sybil now) I had my phone with me and began to text myself the ideas that began flooding in. And when I returned, I [excitedly] began to write!!

    What’s my point? Don’t wait for the motivation. Just write. A lot of it will be crap. I have determined it is sort of like cooking. I love to cook, do it all the time. I love to make a gourmet meal. But not every night is a gourmet meal kind of night (thank goodness…I’m having enough trouble losing weight!). But I have to eat. My body needs the nutrition and the calories to keep going. So sometimes – often – I ‘eat to sustain’. It might not be the healthiest meal, or even the tastiest. But it gets me through. I may have many of those before my next gourmet experience. I do the same with my writing. I just keep going. Some days are 500-1000 word days. What I put on the page may make zero sense or end up in the trash at some point. But sometimes what I ‘wasn’t feeling at the time’ turns out to be something usable, editable, even downright decent. So you never know. But no matter what you are sustained…

    Happy Writing and Best of Luck today!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha- I talk to mine too, so there’s no judgment here! I like your eating analogy, that’s what I’m trying to get back to. I used to be so good at just getting the time in whether I was feeling it or not. And nine times out of ten, when I went to edit I couldn’t tell which sections were ‘inspired’ and which ones I was just doing for the sake of doing. I’m trying to get better at listening to my body, I’ve always struggled with balance- I seem to be an all or nothing type of person. I’ve had this same cold that just doesn’t want to go away- I’ll feel better for a week or two with just a little cough, and then it’ll come back with a vengeance. I think I’m
      On round 3 with it. So I’ve been taking better care of myself the past couple weeks, and trying to just rest and get all the vitamins I need. I’ve been realizing that I need to just settle on one or two goals that I want to accomplish instead of trying to take on the whole world and be Wonder Woman. So this weekend will be all about the writing. I’m also trying to cut myself a little slack- I always set these crazy goals to challenge myself- but sometimes I just need to let myself enjoy the ride and putter along. This weekend I’m trying to keep myself from focusing too much on the word count itself and start remembering why I’ve always love writing in the first place. I don’t think I’m going to be hitting my goals this month, but that’s ok. One of these days I’ll figure out the balance, lol- it wasn’t until I started this blog that I realized how much I struggle with it. They say that self-awareness is the first step to solving a problem, right? ;). Good luck today, and have fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a writer rookie. 1000 words per day is a goal I seldom reach. But daily writing is still a habit I stick with. Ass in chair and all that, even if the words don’t flow. Good luck with your write in!

    Like

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