Due to the fact that I only have so much computer time I can use because of my one good eye and the fact that I was spending most of the computer time over the last month plus moving workshops to Teachable, I haven’t done much writing.
Normal for me, since I tend to start and stop a lot over a year and still manage to get a lot of words and books done. So I am very, very good at starting up.
And I know a lot of you reading this are starting up again this week, either as a New Year’s resolution or after time away because of the holidays.
And some of you are worried about that, maybe fighting it a little.
So let me tell you here, quickly, how I am doing this restart.
— My focus is no pressure on the writing. I’ll get to it if and when I get to it. That lack of pressure has allowed me to actually want to get back to writing. And I am.
— Keep the writing fun. I picked a project I had sort of wanted to try for a while and had started once, but instead of trying to catch up with that, I just tossed away what I had and started over. That made the book feel fresh to me.
— Don’t get in a hurry to hit page counts. Let them build slowly. I have done that and fascinating enough, I now want to do more on the book each day. The book is becoming fun and I want to read more of it, so I need to write more so I can figure out what happens. And the page counts will climb naturally as that happens. That’s fun.
— Pick a fun book to start up with. I did that as well, deciding to go after a book with a lot of humor and that has a few short stories already done in the world. That helps as well.
— I never once doubt you can get back writing. This may be hard for some of you to do, but honestly writing is not something you forget how to do. Your critical brain will try to keep you stopped because that’s safer, but you don’t forget how to do it.
The key really is getting the critical voice that is telling you that you can’t do something out of your head. Negative thoughts are always critical voice and nothing is ever written creatively in critical voice.
So if you hear yourself think, “This is hard.” Just stop and correct that thought. No, writing fiction isn’t hard. Writing is fun. Nothing hard about sitting alone in a room and making stuff up.
So kill the critical voice and just go have fun.
Let me make one more suggestion. Put a sign over your writing computer that says, “Go play!”
Then take the pressure off and have fun.
I know I am once again.