Just Write: The First Step

themindofgame.com

I’ve read it a million times from every author/hobby writer who’s ever used the internet:

“The biggest part of writing is just that… writing.”

How can anyone expect to get their writing noticed if they don’t ever write? I suppose that I could explain the thought process. See, I’m one of those “writers” who just sits around waiting for the muse to strike and tell me exactly what to write. I remember when I used to write on-demand: I’d always have a notebook with me, and any spare moment would be spent adding to whatever story I happened to be working on at the time. Those days are long gone even though I have more time I could dedicate to writing than I used to.

any-parental-control.com

The difference is distraction. There are so many other things to do. Get on Facebook, watch TV, check out the entire internet a few times, get sucked into the Youtube cycle of suggested videos… I could name a hundred more distractions, but I think that list gets the point across.

The question becomes this: How do you overcome the distractions?

The simple answer for me is to grab a notebook instead of my laptop. That way, when I get stuck, I don’t have that little button to get on the internet and completely forget about my writing. Then there’s making time to write– determining a specified amount of time each day to spend with just my notebook and a pen.

I think the best solution would be to find a cave or a log cabin (think: Secret Window) to go hide out in. No internet access, a phone only for emergencies, and a beautiful setting to draw inspiration from. Unfortunately, hiding out for as long as it takes to finish a book isn’t exactly feasible for most people. Then there’s that whole developing homicidal multiple personality disorder thing that makes me a little weary…

So how do you eliminate the distractions from every day life? How do you put aside time to write, and not let your writing be affected by life?

1. Write whatever is in your head. Don’t worry if it’s not the next great American novel. Just write through the crap, and eventually you’ll find the good stuff.

2. Find a little bit of time each day to write. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, take that time to write something. A blog, a letter, a page on your story, a poem– whatever. Just write.

3. Limit your internet usage. Figure out what is important when you get online, and do it quickly. There are programs available to lock your internet access– if you need to, invest in one of those and set it up to only allow you online for 30 minutes or so a day. Or, set it to block access for the time frame you’ve determined you’ll use to write each day.

4. JUST WRITE.

That’s the bottom line. If you want to be a writer, all you have to do is write. If you truly love writing, it won’t feel like work. Just let the words flow, and don’t worry if it’s not your best work. You can always edit later, and not everything you write has to be seen by the world. Eliminate whatever distractions you can for as long as you can, and listen to your characters as they tell you their story.

And start looking for abandoned caves you could hole yourself up in for a few weeks…

thezensite.com

What do you do to overcome distractions when you want to write?

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I love you, Ike.

Remember this show? Yeah, I'd never heard of it before either.

Thank you, Netflix. I’ve been forced into watching an old Western series full of terrible actors and predictable plots for the past week.

Sigh.

Ok, it’s not that bad. Once I got past the whole being able to predict the ending in the first five minutes and the cliche-tastic dialogue, I kinda started to… *gasp*… LIKE it!

I know, I know. It’s crazy.

I had no idea this show even existed. Hell, there are even a couple of recognizable faces in the cast. And I’m not just saying that because Stephen Baldwin has the exact same expression on his face all the time. Happy, sad, angry, upset, excited, surprised– the expression remains the same.

That’s not why I’ve kept watching, though. Oh no. And it’s not because I’ll fall asleep if I go lay in my bed to watch Roseanne, either.

I’m watching for this guy:

He's adorable in a pirate/cowboy kind of way...

He’s so cute! Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnndddd… he doesn’t talk!

Cause really, boys just shouldn’t talk at all. They should fix stuff and get naked on demand, but they really don’t need to say anything.

I saw a glimpse at what Ike looks like now… I have to admit, he’s kinda creepy looking. So, I’ll just remember him in his cowboy outfit with his bald head and bandanna. And silence!

I love late 80s TV. They knew how to make a girl swoon back then. I guess it really is all about the overly dramatic music and painful, cliched dialogue.

*Image courtesy of televisionwithoutpity.com