8 Comments

Taking The Keyboard By The Horns

I’m going to write each day no matter what.

That’s my goal. And I’m getting closer. I tend to be a binge writer. I’ll dump 5,000 words per session for a day or two, but then go weeks without putting out ten words. I could tell you I’m busy, but we’re all busy. I could list all the reasons why I’m busier, but that would devolve quickly into a meaningless debate.

I once had a friend that said he was so competitive he could argue about chewing gum better than me. To which I laughed and thought, “How silly. Everyone knows I chew gum way better than he does…”

Ahem.

If there’s anything I keep reading/hearing over the past year, it’s that successful writers write every day. No matter what.

Everyone has excuses as to why they don’t write. In trying to write every day, I’ve started to access my own excuses. I came to an interesting conclusion.

I don’t write because I’m exhausted. Now that’s a bit more specific than saying I’m busy. And it makes the problem a bit easier to tackle.

Taking the Keyboard by the Horns!

One of the things I’ve done is cut certain activities out of my life. Goodbye Once Upon a Time, etc. My regularity of writing has gone way up – as has my “dreaming” – that time where I’m picturing scenes in my head.

I’ve also started turning off the radio on the way home from work so I can plan out a scene. Basically, I’m trying to maximize my pre-planning which David Farland says is one of the biggest reasons writers find it difficult to write (not knowing the scene well enough). At the same time I get excited about writing those scenes, which helps combat the tired feelings.

But what about when I do all that and I’m still exhausted? I remember opening my laptop the other day and staring at my manuscript with glazed eyes. After five minutes of no words, I closed the laptop and took a nap.

In thinking about this, there’s one more change I need to implement.

I need to take the keyboard by the horns, fight through the fatigue, and write for crying out loud. At the risk of sounding cliche, I need to – Just do it. I had such an experience the other day. I cranked out 1,500 words and loved the scene.

It can be done.

Now, I just need to do it more consistently. So, what about you? Do you need the perfect environment or physical/emotional state to write? What do you need to fight though to be a successful writer?

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About Will Ramirez

Will Ramirez grew up with a love for God's Word and fantastical worlds. The first passion led him to pastor Calvary Chapel Lighthouse for the the last 17 years. The second led him to create the world of Adme, the setting for his coming debut novel, an epic fantasy titled Soul Yearning. He lives in Central Florida with his bride of seventeen years and their four children. Since 2010, he's been a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and serves on the leadership team of Word Weavers of Orlando. He is currently working on the second book of the Godslayer series as well as The Unspoken, book one of a dark fantasy trilogy. In the land of Adme, powerful beings rule as deities and compete with one another for followers. But when a young priest is revealed as the prophesied godslayer, the pantheon unites to destroy him.

8 comments on “Taking The Keyboard By The Horns

  1. When I’m worn out after a long day, I find that it helps to write in the same places each time and I use Atmosphere Deluxe (with headphones) to mask out sounds. The two combined seem to trigger a reflexive and compelling need to write, just as when people feel like snacking when watching television (which is why they say to not do it in the first place–it’s habit forming!)

  2. I read on Seekerville it’s good to have the same surroundings: same things to smell, see, listen to. So now when I write, I sit usually in the same place, with Celtic music in my headphones, some stimulating peppermint oil in a diffuser, and a hot cup of herbal tea (I recently got off caffeine). And it’s true, those things help increase my concentration level.

  3. I am learning to be more consistent. For me, I realized the same thing you did–I was too exhausted to write. This realization spurred a major life change for me. Instead of writing at night afte rthe kids go to bed, I know get up at 5:30 in the morning and write until 7. It’s amazing how much difference that one little (BIG!) change had. It not only helped me to write more consistently, but also helped me prioritize and accomplish more throughout my day.

  4. I remember you talking about getting up early to write. It really challenged me then and does the same now. My wife said she saw a quote today that said, “Amateurs wait for inspiration. Artists create.” I want to be an artist 🙂

  5. Yep, that’s the way to do it. Randy Ingermanson said something similar in his “Eat Dessert First” article in this month’s “Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine.” http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/ezine/

    I write at pretty much the same time every day, but it’s after dinner. I’m at my best then, because I’m a night owl. When I was working at the paper, I found that although I might come home exhausted, once I had a meal and 20-30 minutes’ rest (reading, usually), I could get on the Mac and write half the night. Once I started writing, I got energized.

    Of course, everyone’s rhythms are different. You gotta do what works for you. But that’s a whole other blog post. 😉

  6. I think everybody else pegged it–the same time every day, headphones on, and off you go. Stephen King talked about that in his book On Writing. You have to write every day so your Muse knows where to find you. He likes routine, and he’ll start showing up every day, chomping his cigar and carrying his little bag of magic.

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