Friday, May 13, 2011

Writer's Blockage

Wouldn't it be nice if it was as easy as that? I have an idea it just might be. You see, I suspect writer's block is our body trying to tell us we need to do something other than veg out in front of the computer.

Maybe we need to go for a walk. Or do the laundry. Or do the grocery shopping. Or bake a cake. Something. Something other than sitting in front of the computer.

Oh, I know all about BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard.) BUT, I think that's not the main problem anymore. The main problem might be e-mail, facebook, blogs, games...even a good book. Anything except actual writing.

That's not writer's block. That's lack of discipline. Before you throw tomatoes at me and hotly contest the necessity of all those other things, just tell me--what percentage of your computer time is spent in writing?

I know about promo responsibilities. The thing is this--with no book, there's nothing to promo. Zip, zero, nada, zilch.

So think about that the next time you're tempted to check out facebook or twitter or your e-mail. Can you really spare the time? Really? Do you have your daily quota of writing done? Just what is your daily quota? Are you telling me you don't have a daily target?

Every writer should have a daily target. It doesn't have to be ridiculous. And of course, when life interferes, life interferes. But that target can help center the writer, giving them a focus and goal. I know writers that aim for 100 words a day. Everything over that is gravy. I know others who shoot for 1000 words a day. That's great. Whatever the target, it should be a daily target.

Why do you suppose that is? I believe we all work best on a daily schedule. When we do, we're not as likely to be overwhelmed. What's the difference between doing the dishes daily or doing them weekly? Aside from running out of dishes, the sheer magnitude of the job is daunting to say the least.

If your daily writing goal is 100 words (or 500 or 1000), you also have a sense of real accomplishment when you meet your goal. And you might even have an urge to continue on, to see where the story is taking you. Who knows? You might even end up with a 1000 words.

Tomorrow when you sit down to meet your daily target, you'll sit down with a refreshed attitude. That's what it's all about actually. Our attitude can be self defeating. Or it can be self motivating. Which would you rather have?



  1. I don't have a daily target. My only goal is to find some time to write.

  2. I'm guilty of spending too much time on FB. Trying to find my happy balance again.

  3. @ Julia--When life interferes, there isn't much you can do except carry a notebook with you so you can jot down ideas. I'm talking about "writers" who have time to play on the computer, but not write... :-)

    @ Molly--You're not alone. Facebook and the others are evidently quite tempting...