Writing on empty


Books on writing give a tremendous amount of advice. Much of it good, some of it contradictory, and quite a bit challenges me. I suspect the varied types of advice and recommendations rest with individual personalities. Stephen King (and who am I to question him) recommends when writing the first draft “keep the door closed” and don’t let anyone influence your writing. Yet in my circumstance I thrive on sharing my work in progress and have altered the course of my writing (for the better I hope) by the feedback.

In spite of all the varied advice I have noticed a frequent theme. To be a writer requires the discipline of daily writing. This follows closely on what I have found to be the most common theme: if you want to be a writer—write.

This week I went through a dry spell. For three consecutive days I lagged behind my personal goal of writing at least the minimum words for a day (1,667). That figure is 50,000 divided by the 30 days of November. I committed to myself I wouldn’t blog unless I reach that number. So I have not posted my blog recently.

What was going on? On the first day of the dry spell not only did I not write much, I didn’t want to write. Thankfully the daily writing prompt challenged me to at least write something. Fatigue is part of the issue. I have a radically new schedule this year. This schedule not only makes my days longer but I have to add things to my weekend thus reducing some of my prime writing production time.

Another aspect, this one related to my personality, is boredom. Often during my writing a story as I have immersed myself in my alternate world I become tired of my story. I know my characters. I know my plot. I am ready for something new. Yet the conflict remains in that I have to finish the story. I need to complete the creative act. Letting it drag on is equally frustrating.

What do I do? I write. Even with the dry spells. Daily writing is the best “cure” for those times when I don’t want to write. This is not the same as writers block. I can write. I know where the story is going. For this I simply (!) need to push on through and eventually the fun returns to my writing.

On the fourth day I resumed my story narrative with added energy. The end of November rapidly approaches and I want to finish my story, wrap it up neatly.

Maybe even put a bow on it.

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