The Writer's Trial

It’s been some considerable time since I last posted anything about writing, and the reason is fairly simple: I haven’t done much. My last post was optimistic, and I really felt that I was starting to get somewhere with my infamous Spaceship Script, but that was 69 days ago and I’m not really any further forward. The last line of the post is indicative of the reasons that I don’t ever seem to get any closer to completing the script.

Now if I can just stop playing Empire: Total War I might be able to get some of them finished.

I’m sad to say that over the last few months I’ve allowed myself to become distracted by other things. If I believed in such things I would blame Writers Block, the old standby, for my inability to write things, but that’s neither true nor fair. The real reason is my own lack of self-discipline. I allow myself to spend entire evenings looking at nothing in particular on the internet, playing endless computer games or even just staring idly into space. I have almost unlimited excuses for not writing, and even when I start I find that I can’t keep my attention on the process for more than four or five minutes without wandering onto the internet to do “research”.

Lolcats and Digg don’t have anything at all to do with anything I’m trying to write either.

People who don’t write have a common misconception that writing is easy. That it’s just a case of sitting down in front of a computer screen, or with a pencil and paper, and then “magic happens”. Sadly nothing could be further from the truth. Writing isn’t magical, it may be an art, but it isn’t a magical process. It takes time, effort and commitment as well as . If it could be compared to anything I suppose you might look at it like a second job, and that analogy is often where my problem starts.

Once you start to think of a hobby as though it was work the rot sets in. You find that you start dealing with it as though it IS work. It stops being a pleasurable diversion and quickly becomes a task that you will do anything, and I mean anything to justify.Instead of writing away diligently, and enjoying the creative process, it quickly becomes very easy to start goldbricking and shirking until you finally give in and do something else that requires much less thought and or commitment.

I tried to address the logically, as you’ve seen in previous blog posts, but it hasn’t worked out as well as I had hoped.  I’ve even tried taking holidays to give myself plenty of time to write without worrying about having to get up to go to work etc., but that failed because it gave me more time to say to myself, “I’ll do it later.”

I’m not sure how to cure these problems, or even if there is a cure, but they say the first stage of fixing a problem is to know that there is a problem.

Oddly I’ve noticed that much of what I’ve written about being unable to keep to a writing schedule can also be applied to people who are attempting to lose weight. You simply replace procrastination with cake and you can see the same mechanisms at work.

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