It’s one thing to actually force yourself to observe your writing habits. It’s harder to take the next step of understanding why you behave in ways that are obviously counter-productive, and then finding positive ways to get what these negative behaviours provide.
I’ve blogged about this process and what I learned in previous posts, Recognising Writing Behavioural Patterns and Changing Negative Behavioural Patterns – Part II.
One of the problems of following these well-intentioned plans is that after a while we lose momentum. I started this process of understanding my patterns of behaviour three months ago. So did I fall off the wagon?
No, but the most valuable gains were things I hadn’t expected.
Firstly, the thrill of writing is back. I hadn’t lost the enjoyment of writing, but without realising it I had lost the bliss.
I started this process because I wanted to be more productive. Am I? Oh, YES. I’m creating more writing that I think is good, and I’m also producing more writing that’s terrible. But that stands to reason, and I’ve learned to just accept it.
It’s not possible for me to write every day, but because I now TRUST myself to write when I can, I don’t feel bad when I don’t.
But for the last few weeks something wonderful has happened as a consequence of the introspection, the persistence and the challenges of the last few months.
I started to JUST DO IT.
I know that’s not a new concept. I’ve read many authors who advise us to JUST WRITE, but as an analytical thinking personality I had trouble getting my head around it – or perhaps I should say feeling it.
Now I don’t think about writing. When I have time, I just sit and write. It’s freeing and light and exciting. It’s self-perpetuating.
But that ability didn’t come from willing it to be so. I would never have got to that place without the hard work of recognising my behavioural patterns and then replacing the negative behaviours with positive ones that gave me the same benefits.
This is a short post because I’ve got to get back to writing.
I’d love to hear your stories.
Thank you Karen for taking us on this journey of recognising behavioural patterns and showing that change can lead to wonderful things. Congratulations on finding your “bliss” again.
For me there is nothing like the feeling of just writing and then finding a connection or an idea for a story that just blossoms and grows from seemingly nowhere. I get nervous and excited all at once and just want to keep writing and writing.
So like you I best be off – I need to write!
Thanks for your comment, Maree. I understand that urge to write. Hope the pen flows…
So happy to hear of your progress, Karen. For me, having trust in the process is the essence because we’ll have days that don’t turn out anything like the one we planned. Like today. There’ll be no writing for me even though that was the plan. But, I trust that when I sit at my desk tomorrow, provided no more rellies arrive, unexpectantly, in town, I can sit at my desk and write. So, I suppose it’s as Neil Gaimon says, “It’s that easy and that hard.”
Hi Anne. Neil Gaiman expresses it so well, doesn’t he? Trust in the process is crucial, and I’ve found trust in yourself – the trust you earn when you know you will actually turn up at your desk tomorrow – is as important. Thanks for your comment.
So pleased you’re back on track, Karen – not just in the process but in the trusting of it, and of yourself!
I’m trying to do something every day now even if it’s just 3-5 mins of freewriting random words. Health has got in the way (again) and what energy I’ve had has been needed for other aspects of my life. But I figure that no matter how exhausted I am, I’ll be able to manage 3 minutes of ‘rubbish’ .. which may lead to more (hopefully a few diamonds among the blocks of coal!) Getting bogged down in research for book 3 (and reviewing our earlier books) hasn’t helped…!
Thank you for continuing to share your insights and progress; I usually learn something from you! Happy writing x
HI Joanna. Getting those minutes of writing done is a forward movement, and hard won for you, so well done! The more writing we do the more diamonds we produce, but also the more rubbish. It’s part of the process, I’ve learned. Do you find that sometimes if you clean up the rubbish it’s really a treasure in disguise?
I’ve been wanting to read your books and finally downloaded The Cordello Quest. I’ll start on that as soon as I’ve finished what I’m reading now. I’m looking forward to it.
Good luck with your research, and keep writing. x
Thank you for that ‘well done’ – it’s appreciated! I sometimes find diamonds in the dust when I clean it up; at other times a piece is clearly just “for practice” and then leave the blasted thing behind lol.
Oh, thank you for downloading The Cordello Quest! I really hope you enjoy it, but I know your standard of writing (and we all improve the more books we write – I hope) so I’m also biting my nails hehe.
Thank you, will do my best 😉