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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Writing and the Motivational Demons

by T W Coombs

This is not about writing in general or I wouldn't be writing this blog if it was, this instalment is the thoughts of a writer who has two book projects jammed in his head but needs to finish the d├ębut novel to make room for the other idea to develop.  This is about the five year project that has stalled and why and how my idea on it may help you.

It is novel dilemma (haha, get it, novel) that a person who spends much of his free time writing about something can’t write about something when it involves the book project.  Is it Demons, small evil imps coming up from the world below to mess with my mind?  No, well, very unlikely anyway, it is more than likely it is the skill of self procrastination.  There is always a review or a blog that needs writing, like this jumble of words, if I didn't write this I would have some time to carry on with my book project, but then I would be down a blog.  It is a dilemma, not of biblical proportions as it is writing for people to read.  It does come down to time I shall admit, you need time and space to create and make things up to write down.  I have been asked the classic question as a writer “where do your ideas come from?” my reply was “if I knew that I would have gone there grabbed it all and finished this bloody book”, it is not even writers block or anything, it is getting myself to sit for an hour and just open up the file for the book and rather than create new bits of an idea or Google funny things on the internet, the best in procrastination, is to put more words on it.

My head has the entire book laid out from start to finish, I only write certain notes and prompts so my mind remembers where I was going with this narrative, if I don’t do this then I veer off to the unknown.  This usually involves me deleting 500 words because I am not sure where this is heading or it is just plainly rubbish.  You can Google all the helps and tips on writing you want but writing is personal, you need to want it and you need to make the time.  But if nothing else you will need an idea.  You don’t even need a good idea, there are a lot of books out there that were created from an utter rubbish idea or a copy of an idea but they are written well, so some do well very and make their writer a true full time author.

Don’t, whatever you do, get caught up in the  idea that I call the ‘Fifty Shade Effect’, if you write a badly written book with a bad story doesn't mean you will sell millions of copies and get a film deal and make a fortune, this was a one off fluke, you get one fluke every generation.

So, back to my point, the battle of fighting off the motivational demons that are stopping you from sitting down and writing your book.  I have found that you need to overcome the mental battle which is very much like giving up smoking.  I recently did this and now seven months down the line am fine but there was times when I just wanted to start again but there is that little bridge in your mind that is so humped it causes you to falter and walk back away from it, but if you can just get to the top enough to glimpse the other side you are now on the right path.  This is the feeling in writing once you are sat down with the screen showing your words I for one find it much easier to just write.  And write. And write. So come on and just get your book written!

The devil is in the details, YouTube is the procrastinations dream, so is Twitter and Instagram, this is why well known writers have been known to lock themselves away in hotel rooms for a month or two.  Of course the average writer has a day job so this is not really an available option, plus other things get in the way.  Those children you had? Remember them, apparently they need attention, the other half does too, oh and Game of Thrones is on, the list of distractions just goes on. Try and find that perfect time of day that you can shut out the world for a couple of hours and bang out some words.


And if you are unsure where the story is going, don’t worry, the best advice I have ever got was from an author I have never met but have read many of her books, and her advice was just write it, the rest will fall into place.  So finish it, then go back and feel in the blanks that you have no doubt left and story details you started but forgot about.  The first draft is key to true book motivation.  Once you are over the hump and get that first draft written you will be so hyped up, no one will see you for the next couple of months as you will re-writing your good idea.

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