Friday, February 27, 2015

The Positive Approach to Taking on Writing

Writers face a lot of obstacles to productivity, and I’ve offered some advice on breaking bad habits (like looping) and persisting in the face of interruptions and distractions. But there’s another side. You can take a positive approach to getting words on the page and moving your story forward. There are habits (like prepping with a sentence the day before) and technical helps (like setting a timer). But it is also good to recognize prompts that make it a joy to switch into storytelling mode.
I posted this on my Facebook page:
Writing peeps -- What gets you writing? What keeps you writing? (I'm tired of articles about the obstacles to writing and overcoming them. Looking for a positive approach for my next How to Write Fast blog post.)
And here’s what I got back:
Rhonda Lane I fall in love with the stories/project. If that doesn't happen, then I can't devote what it takes to writing them.
Anna Carrasco Bowling Reading a wonderful book, either new or a beloved favorite, or watching a movie that sparks my story brain always makes me want to get back to work and tell my own stories.
Experiencing someone who loves what they do and are good at it is like a shot of adrenaline.
Gail Chianese Make a challenge with a friend (sprint, commitment to do X number of words in the day) always gets me going. What keeps me going is the fun in telling the story.
Heidi Ulrich Sprints are great definitely, but what keeps me going is the characters. Sometimes I have to remind myself why I love them so much.
Anna Carrasco Bowling I agree with Heidi and Rhonda. If I'm in love with the characters, there is nothing that's going to keep me away from them. They'll call to me while I'm doing other things and spending time with them is the most natural thing in the world.
John Handy Bosma Mindfulness practices. (I can't say I write as you do, but that's what works for me when I remember. When I don't remember that, I don't write.)
Karen Anne Renwick A rigid-ish schedule. The Freedom app that blocks me from my Internet. I use it like a timer. When my Internet comes back, if I've worked hard, I get to surf for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat.
Gail Chianese Anti-Social is great too because you can block certain pages (FB, email, etc.), but still have access to the Internet (so you can listen to Pandora).
Jerry Hernandez My writing mentor told me to write every day, so that it became a habit. Then he beat me. I think it inspired a recent movie.
Jos Van Brussel Good books (written by better writers than myself), a complete absence of Internet, meditation, focus music, Scrivener, a lack of money, a wife standing behind me with a meat cleaver because of said lack of money (not necessarily in that order).
Julia Stitely Thomas If I don't sit down to write, I'll never find out what happens to my characters.
Some surprises. Some fun. Some great advice. What gets you writing and keeps you writing?

Upcoming classes

March 2- March 27 Novel in a Month (online)
March 3-April 7 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop (face-to-face)
March 9-April 3 Career Planning for Writers (online)
April 15-April 29 Story Bootcamp (face-to-face) Westchester Community College
April 20-May 25 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop (face-to-face) 
May 1-May 29 Bigger Stories (online) 

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