There are so many things that can distract writers. Writers are thinkers and dreamers, and if there is anything I have learned from my son, who suffers from ADHD, it is that distractions can kill any chance of the completion of a task.
But what are the three things that are deadly for a writer, deadly vipers that might poison any chance of completing a project or a WIP?
The following three would top my list:
- Life – Perhaps you have angel wings and perhaps rainbows follow you everywhere and perhaps you ride to work every day on a unicorn that smells like angel-food cake, but quite frankly the world is a much more harsh environment for a writer than most. Writers are typically sensitive to their world and often go around with their skin removed…at least poets and fiction writers. It is tough, sometimes, to keep that world at bay enough to not let it bring us down. We are trying to write that romantic scene when our love life is in shambles, trying to write the happiest ending to our tale when the ending to our day was more of an out of control avalanche.
- The Way Out: Do what writers do best – write about it. Stop writing that scene that is a paradox to your life at the moment and write about what really happened to you today. It is a way to get it off of your chest (and not freak out your significant other with how sensitive you are to your surroundings).
- Writer’s Block – Let’s face it. You haven’t written in weeks, perhaps months, and you just can’t get back into the habit of cranking out the words. Perhaps you have grown bored with the WIP. I once knew a writer who didn’t write for a year because he claimed that he had writer’s block.
- The Way Out: Realize that writer’s block is a myth. There are not blocked writers only lazy writers. I’m sorry to punch you in the creative noggin, but this is a truth. Writers write. It doesn’t matter if you write a poem today or a paragraph or a sentence, you should get to writing. Write nonsense for a few paragraphs and see what happens.
- Shattered Dreams of “Success” – This one is a tough one. You have done everything (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, free Kindle days, e-mail blitzes, hired good editors, spent tons of money) and you have not seen the book sales you desire. It has therefore soured any other attempts at writing another novel because you have had such little monetary success with the other effort. This one can cause any writer to go on a downward spiral of despair in a hurry…the feeling that no matter what you do, you will never have the “success” of an Amanda Hawking.
- The Way Out: What is your definition of “success”? Mine is selling a few books now and again and once in a while getting a letter from a reader who liked my book. Success is finishing one of those crazy novels that popped out of my head in the middle of the night after a fevered dream. You have to be realistic about dreams because in truth the best seller is not the best success you can have as a writer. My latest novel made one of my proof-readers cry when she finished the last chapter. That is success.
What kills your writing vibe? Post below. Perhaps I could provide some tips to help you reach that goal.