My Writing Process Has Some Problems

Yes.

Yes.

Or, Can I blame my retarded writing process on Adult Attention Disorder?

Developing a writing process requires at least a tiny pinch of self-discipline, more focus than a newborn baby has, and probably some parenting software that limits access to the internet during certain hours, all of which I seem to not possess….My process looks like Playtime with Birdie. I can’t even look myself in the eye right now….

My book has not been progressing to my satisfaction, and probably in yet another effort to avoid actually writing, I decided to examine and improve the process. I am past caring over ever word like its a newborn child; now I am just happy to see words on a page where there once was none. I’ll edit my edits when their finished. I needed to locate what was holding me up from my goal.

As I like to do, I took a logical approach and mind-mapped my process so the areas to improve would be clear. Plus, it gave me a chance to use the $40 program I’d just bought yesterday. Turns out, it is a little more complicated than it looks, and the instructions are way too long to read. I could easily figure everything out in a shorter amount of time anyways. Surprisingly, it came out looking odd, deformed, and revealing nothing I didn’t already know, except maybe a need to read instructions to some of this stuff once in awhile.

This is how I write a book: 

1. Before beginning the creative process, I have to loosen up. So  I “liked” every single page that every single friend and/or family member on my Facebook account has ever recommended to me. That little icon, along with the games icon that people recommend I try, have sat there since Facebook was still just some college guy’s girl ranking system, and there were hundreds of them. I didn’t even stop to see what any of those pages stood for. I just aimed for the finish line. Afterward, I developed a theory about the amounts of clicking and how many pages I could have done with that same amount of clicks.

2. Sat proudly basking in the after-glow of having completed something so time-consuming, annoyingly repetitive, and fraught with potential unforeseen consequences.

3. Pointedly refused to feel stupid for feeling a sense of accomplishment for something so stupid. Listened to Bekkie explain stuff she’s learning and realizing the only words I understand coming out of her mouth are mainly the prepositional phrases and one or two of the verbs that don’t really do anything..like “is” and “will”.  Feel stupid about the Facebook page thing.

4. Wrote a small paragraph.

5. Googled MindMaps because I remember I’d wanted to do….. sometime before 2011. Decided not to risk forgetting again.

6. Fell in love with the MindMap concept, shopped around for one I liked and could afford, then downloaded a free trial. Promptly got distracted and played with the many different features for about an hour.

7. Ate some chips and watched The Hunger Games for the 405th time this week.

8. Wrote another paragraph. Reread the first one, and decided to delete it and write something else.

9. Re-wrote the second paragraph because it didn’t work with the new one.

10. Spent the next two hours using the mindmap software to outline my story.

11. Basked in how awesome my outline looked, and how the colors I had chosen were so pretty. Also was surprised how much it actually did help, thus proving to myself I’m full of shit when I say I’m doing something for anything other than to amuse myself.

12. Wrote a whole page about being abused, then promptly freaked out, making all sorts of jokes that made my kids laugh. Briefly worried I might be a bad mother, then decided it was too late if I was. Decided that ship had sailed years ago, and they would just have to figure their way out of it like the rest of us.

13. Wrote a post on my blog about writing a book and how I make really dark jokes that I laugh at when I am upset, which feels like it must be weird to see because it is just so weird, even to myself.

14. Rewrote some parts that were to frantic-sounding, and then took a two or three hour break finding all the Google Communities that I had any kind of experience with, or any interest in, no matter how tiny, and joined every single one of them.

15. Firmly set better goals, worried briefly about my digital footprint, and made all sorts of decisions about being more disciplined and less of a weirdo starting tomorrow. Brushed my teeth, washed my face, and chatted a bit with Bekkie where she told me not to distract her with things I know she’ll enjoy, like Quora but got lost in her explanation why, and will return to that subject at a later time.

16.  Laid awake until 3 am creating in my head a story I suspect may be work to rival Shakespeare himself. Also, laid awake wondering if I should just get up and write. Spent twenty minutes arguing with myself.

17. Rationalized my decision to go to sleep instead of write, trying numerous reasons until one gave me the desired excuse.Spent two minutes acknowledging I’m getting harder and harder to fool.

Yesterday when I had the time, environment, and laptop to get the work done, I spent chunks of it doing random, stupid stuff. It was highly unlikely I was going to do much better than I did yesterday, despite what I tell myself.

It’s really a wonder I ever get anything done….

~ Bird

 

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19 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s more productive then I have been, I’ve been just moving old stories onto wordpress and watching youtube videos. I haven’t done any creative writing for over a month, and while I blame University for not giving me enough time my youtube history says otherwise.
    At least you do get some writing done so congratulations.

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  2. I have days where I am super writer, I am focused the internet only exists for research and I actually hit my daily target and more, then there are days I am super procrastinator and before I know it several hours have passed and the most productive thing I have done is plant some crop on a facebook game. I am working on finding a balance but am seriously beginning to think I need to create a Wifi free room in the house just to concentrate on writing in :D

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    • Lol! I know exactly what you are saying. I play that same farm game, plus for awhile I was on the fast track to becoming the next ruling Mafia godfather. It is kind of sad. :-)

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    • grammatteus

       /  April 8, 2014

      I have a little park on the shore of the Irish Sea with picnic tables where I can take my laptop. It not only has no internet access, being quite remote, it doesn’t even have phone coverage! I write plenty there :)

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      • Ha! Thus proving that we writers can’t simply choose to not click on the internet and goof around but instead must take the ability away temporarily! I don’t feel so alone anymore…
        That sounds absolutely beautiful. We have the Arkansas river here in Tulsa, but it rarely has any water in it. It seems to be a big mud puddle. :-)

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  3. I love your writings! Especially this one brought me a big smile and a playful mood to start my day :-) . You’re very creative, very talented and i adore the humor in your article. And a bit of self-irony is always useful :-) .
    Thank you so much for following my blog, i’m honored. I admire a lot your writing style and i’ll come back to read more.
    Blessings,
    Carissa

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    • Thank you for your sweet compliment! And it’s my pleasure to follow yours. I like how you write it like a book instead of a diary. You are very talented!! Keep it up!!

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  4. grammatteus

     /  April 8, 2014

    I managed a 15,800 word Masters dissertation on the syntax of the English to-infinitive (which is SO technical and required the perusing of about two dozen academic books plus numerous online journal articles – reference list was 40 items!) AND completed it in about two months (no, just on three) last year – now I KNOW I can write large amounts to deadlines! 40,000 non-technical stuff should be a dawdle. SHOULD, HA!

    During that process I really went on a lent on online games (Candy Crush is prob my worst sin), and limited my Facebook posts. I have ALWAYS found myself avoiding YouTube, since I know how easily I can watch one funny video, and see loads more to laugh at, and be there an hour later wondering where the time went and how I did that without even trying. Worse if I’m watching long serious videos on pithy theological topics! My ‘Watch Later’ folder just gets bigger every month.

    I too am going over old blogs for those I can utilise in the book – words already typed, hehe! SO… by the end of this week, what shall be my word count? Are you up for a challenge? See who can do more? Or are you… No, hold on, I’M chicken!

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    • I LOVE DARES!!! You are on, my friend! I accept the challenge. I think I can own this.

      Lay out the rules for me, and we’ll do this!

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      • grammatteus

         /  April 8, 2014

        Okaaaayyy! We shall declare our word count now, on the actual manuscript of the book, not any additional bits we have elsewhere, like blogs or other scraps of thought. We shall then count how many words we add to that piece. Shall we count those pre-typed pieces or not – I’m thinking it would be hard to separate them in the word count. Not that I have a hug load of them. Ashamed to say that the real count for me is actually only 2150 now!!

        Deadline shall be… midnight GMT Saturday. That should be 6pm your time.

        Now I’ve to go and finish cooking my Irish stew. Tomorrow I’ve to go see my mum. Friday is good weather forecasted so I’ll be mowing the lawn, then church band practice… this isn’t fair, I’m too busy :(

        Still, I was the one who raised the challenge!

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        • grammatteus

           /  April 8, 2014

          And most of Saturday I’ll have my granddaughter on my own – she’s a 24/7 distraction!!!

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          • Yeah, yeah… I had three toddlers all at once every day for a few years. Believe me, there are creative, semi-safe ways to occupy kids, and only a few of them leave any long-term damage.. :-)

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        • Well, I think it will be a fair contest despite your many prior commitments. I actually do have Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, and unless I sit in an empty room with nothing but a typewriter, I’m doomed to be distracted by shiny things.

          Word count starts at 0, so I will write my stuff separately and put it all together after I’ve schooled you…lol!!

          Talk to you Saturday!!! Good luck!!

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          • grammatteus

             /  April 8, 2014

            Ditto on the ADD! Good luck too. I DO have a wife who nags me to get it done, though. Lol. One thing for sure: one of us is going down!! :)

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            • Darn it. I could a good wife to nag me right now. Being not gay has some disadvantages. Still, I think we’re evenly matched.

              I love games! :-)

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              • grammatteus

                 /  April 12, 2014

                I had what I thought was an email for you when I submitted my guest post but it was just a ‘donotreply’ from WordPress – no wonder you never replied to it LOL.

                My ‘problems’ this week were fairly bad (aka procrastination) which left me doing most of my work today after my granddaughter left, but I’m going to ‘call it’ now, as I think they do in cricket but I’ve never followed the sport, even though I think I’ve lost – 2728! Paltry – I’ll offer congrats now.

                Refreshing to hear Jennifer Saunders, a very accomplished comedian, on a chat show discussing how she turned to hypnotherapy to help her with procrastination to get her new film script done! We are not alone.

                I’m sure I have an email address for you but I’m too tired to look it up right now. Goodnight, and enjoy your victory. Kept me on my toes a bit more, though. thanks. Here’s to the next.

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  5. The key to writing is to write about something that really inspires you and that it is imperative to share with your readers for their benefit

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