Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What keeps writers from writing?

Why is it some days I can plop down in the computer chair, grab the keyboard, fire up the draft of book three of the trilogy and crank out a few thousand words before I've even thought about how many words I've cranked out ... but then there are those other days when I stare pathetically at the screen, hoping that the words will just magically appear on it! ACK!

Oh no, this has nothing to do with "writer's block," not at all. With nearly no effort at all, I can go back to chapter one and begin "revising" (for the tenth, etc. time!). That is waaaaay too easy ... even when I've worked hard all day at MFA 280 in Freeburg!

So how about we see what some of those Writers Cafe folks have to say about this!

"My mind keeps getting ideas for different books or articles while I am trying to finish the one I am working on."

Oh yes! Been down that greasy slope before! I've even fired up a blank text document in order to slap those ideas onto the PC AFAP! (as fast as possible) so I can get back to the main task.

"Family members interrupting me, acting like I'm just sitting there doing nothing, perfectly available for whatever they have in mind - and then acting all offended when my reaction indicates otherwise."

Too true... but will our beloved ones ever REALLY understand what our brain cells are going through as we write?

"Two of the most annoying: "Mooooommmmmmm!" (This is the kids, but also includes my elderly father, who recently moved in with us and can't seem to learn that when I'm working, I do not want to be constantly interrupted. I need to get doors on my office. Locking doors.) "Meow!" (This is the cat jumping into my lap and settling down for a protracted stay, and of course bumping my wrists with her head every time I try to type over her.)"

Can't really relate to this one ... only pet in our house is a canary :)

"My own disgust (with my pathetic first drafts)."

Not much to add to this one! :)_

"Four paws, goes mew, and thinks my mouse is a playtoy and my keyboard should be sat on. And there are two of them, so they tag team."

OK, so if we had a cat (or more), then I can see this being a problem!

"My son! He is either incessantly hungry/thirsty/looking for something/freezing his computer or being far too quiet to not be getting into trouble e.g. mixing up 'potions' in the garage or 'fixing' things that belong to his sister. Fortunately, for his sake, he is very cute!"

Cute? Maybe...

"My dual monitor setup is great for editing, but I need to learn to turn it off when I'm not using it. Scrivener on one screen, Reddit/Kindle Boards/email on the other. Not good."

Last weekend I tried the dual monitor set-up with draft of book three on the left screen and the outline of the novel on the right. Worked quite well until my video card overheated! (New vidcard is on its way!)

"Sex. Hubby and I are writing erotica together now. Occupational hazard."


"My family, my commute (a blessing and a 'need your hands on the wheel 2 hours a day, not writing' curse), reading, and TVTropes.com. To be honest though? It's that last one that kills me. I can waste hours on that site 'researching' plot ideas."

TVTropes.com ... I checked out that website .... I don't get it :)_


  1. All very valid distractions, Dave! I would have to say my ultimate nemesis when it comes to my writing time is the internet! Things like this exact post in fact. I love them, they are helpful and being an indie author is a huge learning experience. I find myself distracted and often reading blogs, articles, Facebook, etc...Though, those activities are equally important, so I suppose I must set aside time for each rather than having the websites open and calling my name at the same time as attempting to write in Word. Thank you for posting this! The first two hours of my writing time tomorrow will be accomplished with internet explorer shut down! :)

  2. Haha. The "kid" problem is why I work at night when everyone else is in bed! The couple writing erotica say they're being interrupted, but research is pretty necessary in many books, so I think they'd better suck it up and deal with it!

    1. Hey there Brad! I just discovered that your comment ended up in my Blogger "spam" folder! I bet it went straight there because you used the word "erotica" in it!

      Ain't the Intrawebz wonderful? heh...

  3. Hello Andrea! Another distraction that I forgot to add to my blogpost was FOOD! It seems that just as I'm hitting my stride, I start to get a hankering for something salty and crunchy! ACK!

  4. Writing requires purpose. Without a solid reason to write the writing doesn't need a reason not to happen. The opposite is also true. If purpose protrudes then the writing flows. All the writer need do is get out of the way. And edit all of it later.

    1. Hey there GBigs!

      The hard part for me is ignoring that backspace key. Maybe I should just remove it?