Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Motivation and Writing

Since DH has gone away to work, life has been a little overwhelming. For the first time in YEARS, I’m not writing every day. This, in turn, makes me depressed. And being depressed makes it SO MUCH harder to get out of the house and go writing the next day.

Of course, missing DH might be a part of why I’m depresesd. And I seem to be battling a serious flare-up of fibromyalgia (after years, and I mean years!), which is boggling my mind because I don’t know where it’s coming from. And so I don’t know how to fix it.

Anyway, depressed seems too strong a word. But so far this year I’ve done a BIAW challenge to get myself writing, and now I’m doing a FAST DRAFT in 14 DAYS challenge.

In the back of my mind, I find this a tad ridiculous. I find it silly that I have to do these little things to get myself writing while DH is gone. I’ve always prided myself on sitting down every day and getting the job done, no problem.

When I sit down and write, I love it. It’s like I can breathe again, and I wonder what the heck had me procrastinating for days. And I love the story I’m working on. It’s going great. It’s coming out easy so far.

So why all the trouble? Why am I still here, at home, instead of at Borders right now writing?

Sometimes we judge our enthusiasm, our "meant to," our motivation and desire and the whole kit and kaboodle by our discipline to sit down, or our discipline to grind through the challenges.

That, I believe, is hogwash. I know I’m motivated and meant to and enthusiastic and all that stuff. Without a single doubt in my mind. So why, then, am I here and not writing?

Oh well. I thought, when I sat down and started this blog post, I would have a conclusion. Or at least some tidbit of motivation, or something. But I don’t. No answers, no conclusions.

And anyway, I have to get to Borders and write a little something, see if I can salvage the day. :-)

As Erica says, thoughts?

14 bonus scribbles:

Zoe Winters 1/30/2008 02:03:00 PM  

Hey Spy! I feel ya, when I stop writing for several days I start to feel a depression and anxiety come on. I feel most centered when I exercise and write.

One book that I've found very helpful when dealing with the blocked feeling is: "Becoming a Writer" by: Dorothea Brande. The book is almost a century old but it still speaks to me. My copy has more parts underlined than not.

Also, consider writing something completely silly with no motivation to seek publication or further a career, just play.

Aimless Writer 1/30/2008 03:30:00 PM  

I know how you feel!
There are times I sit and futz around on the computer without actually opening my WIP. However I do know that if I just open up the damn file and start reading I will be sucked in.
Why I don't do it is the hard part. I want to, I really do! I have such a good time in there that I never want to come out. So why is it so hard to enter???
When you find the answer...let me know. You'll find me, hand poised over the mouse, engaged in a hot game of Spider Solitare!

spyscribbler 1/30/2008 09:45:00 PM  

Zoe, I'm going to try and find a copy of that book; it sounds awesome!

I'm not really blocked, though. I'm just lacking a get up and go. It's the same with running errands, anything ... there's just so much to do, I feel that no matter what I do, I'm dropping the ball on something important.

Edie 1/31/2008 12:24:00 AM  

Spy, if you're lacking a get up and go about everything right now, it sounds like it might be plain old depression. Maybe because your honey is gone?

My writing is nonexistent to slow right now, but I'm always this way starting a new book. I tiptoe into a book, I don't dive in. I'd rather be a diver, but this seems to be my way. And in a couple weeks I'll be writing steadily. It helps to know that.

spyscribbler 1/31/2008 10:21:00 AM  

Aimless, so true! It's the stalling thing. I know I'm going to enjoy myself, I know I want to, and I know it's going to leave me fulfilled for the day.

So why in all of green earth do I procrastinate doing what I most want to do in a day?

spyscribbler 1/31/2008 10:25:00 AM  

LOL, okay, maybe. Yeah, it's possible. I had a lovely dream last night, where I went upstairs (after the bathtub was overflowing into the whole house and damaging a wall on the other side of the first floor, and then my students and parent saw me naked, because, of course, the only way to walk into the bathroom and fix a leak is to shed one's clothes) and there sat DH in the office. I was so stunned I couldn't even get excited. I didn't understand; he wasn't supposed to be home yet, I thought it wasn't real and I was seeing things.

Then some strange guy was pawing me in a hospital where I'd just gone for fast food, and DH and I had to make a run for it. People were shooting at us, but we got through, and I made him hug and hold me for five full minutes.

That was the good part. :-)

(Not that the crazy dream is that important, LOL. Don't know why I just blabbed about it. Except, I suppose it's possible I'm a little depressed.)

Melanie Avila 1/31/2008 12:25:00 PM  

I've battled my own bits of depression in the past year and one way I've found to keep going is knowing how GOOD I'll feel if I just do one thing. I remind myself that going to the store or whatever will take one hour, tops, and then I can go back to moping. Usually I'm inspired enough to do something else but if not, at least now I have food.

I'd keep an eye on your tub...

spyscribbler 1/31/2008 02:08:00 PM  

Melanie, you're so right! After DH left, I've been telling myself to just "clean one thing."

But I forgot.

I just did the dishes. We're getting there. :-)

julia 1/31/2008 03:06:00 PM  

I wouldn't chide yourself for using tools like BIAW to jump-start your writing. Whatever it takes!

Josephine Damian 1/31/2008 06:00:00 PM  

Spy: most women writers I know can't wait to get rid of the DH and their constant demands for sandwichs and clean socks so that they can find time to write.

I always find it fascinating how some writers can go someplace other than home to write, and even gather with other writers to do their writing. Me? I gotta have the peace and quiet of home.

My experience, being stuck writing comes from not quite having a handle the characters and their motivations. I also find that a mindless activity - like cleaning a closet - can get the juices flowing.

Zoe: That Dorothea Brande book was probably the first writing advice book I ever read - it's a classic must-read.

Anonymous,  1/31/2008 08:10:00 PM  

I hope you're able to get back into writing soon. I go through phases, too, so I totally understand. And the longer it's been since I've been really into my writing, the harder it is to get back to it.

Oh, and by the way, I have The Reincarnationist next on my TBR pile. How is it?

Barrie 2/01/2008 01:36:00 AM  

Good for you, though, still getting yourself out and writing. A question: do you always write away from home? Maybe I should try it as I'm having probs staying focused.

Bernita 2/01/2008 07:15:00 AM  

Sometimes we just rebel against our discipline, actually resent it.

spyscribbler 2/01/2008 09:06:00 PM  

Julia, you're right! They're great tools. I think I'm mostly chiding myself for needing them.

Josephine, I love writing away from home. I focus better, and being surrounded by books inspires me.

And DH is a gem. Don't ever tell him I said this, but he's almost like a writer's ideal spouse. He makes my life run smoothly so I can focus on all my creative pursuits. He even does the white socks (says I don't get 'em white enough) and is a brilliant cook.

Hence, when he's gone, I'm a girl as hopeless as a stereotypical guy at keeping his house running without his wife. :-)

Booklady, it's a great book! I loved it: it's like Da Vinci Code only written better. Fascinating stuff!

Barrie, I can't write at home. Unfortunately. I work at home, so if I'm home, I have all that pressure beckoning to me, plus the distraction of the internet. Going to a bookstore has become a ritual that focuses me and gets me crankin'. :-)

LOL, Bernita, that's me alright! I do that every now and then. I sorta stage a rebellion!