Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Distractions - The Shiny New Toy

So I have reached that point of nanowrimo in which I now know, unless some kind of writing miracle happens that I will not be achieving the goal of writing 50,000 words in the 30 days. I will most likely be coming in with a word count of 30,000 to 35,000 by the end of the month, which if it wasn’t nanowrimo this month would be a very good word count. In fact if you could hit that word count every month you would be looking at 360,000 for the year, which is not a bad yearly goal at all. But the fact is that nanowrimo, you end up focusing on the fact that you are not going to meet the goal and you face the problems that can arise whenever you are set to miss a deadline – if I’m not going to achieve this then maybe I can stop pushing myself and focus on other things and namely get distracted.

Now, distractions can hit at any time and missing a deadline is just one of the reasons that you can be distracted. Other reasons can be:

Middle of the story – You’ve hit the middle of the story. You have written this exciting beginning and you have a great end in mind but you are now stuck in the middle. There is a series of practicalities or dots that need joining before you hit the end and for one reason or another, you are ploughing through mud to get there. Again, you can’t see yourself getting there, so you are hitting the what is the point, I’m never going to finish this story, the oh look there’s that programme on the tv that I wanted to watch.

I’ve had a new fabulous idea – You’re a writer, you will always be getting ideas. And those ideas will always seem better than the story you are currently writing. There are two key reasons this – First, when the story stays in your head it is in its purest form, it is your baby and hidden away from any criticism, everything is possible at this stage and don’t underestimate the fact that this idea is shiny and new. The second reason, is what you start writing an idea and developing it, it becomes hard work; if writing was easy then everyone would do it. This means that you are comparing something that is hard, the piece you are currently working on to this new fabulous ideas with no issue – no wonder this is a distraction.

Research – This is the most noble of all distractions because you are still working on your story. That programme was essential to watch, you needed to search for that fact on the internet and that new link that you had just clicked on was essential. And before you know that quick research task for ten minutes has just lasted an hour and you have just clicked on a cat video.

Whatever the distraction, whatever it was, you are now not writing and your story is not progressing and you are hit with the hard part of writing and that is getting started again once you have been distracted. And the hard and fast rule of this is that there is no short cut to this. Like I said on an earlier task, you just need to get your bum in the chair and start writing and not listen to the excuses forming in your head and reset your goals. 30,000 words is a good monthly word count. And so without further ado, I’m going to get back to the work in progress and remember whatever is hard to write now can always be edited later.

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