Sunday, February 24, 2013

From Start to Finish

     In the transportation business, there's a timeworn but still valid suggestion to "Keep on trucking." And we've all heard the phrase from Larry the Cable Guy to "Get 'er done." I feel that both of these slogans should be applied to our writing.

     Most of the writers I know--well, make that every writer I know--talks or thinks about their lack of sufficient time to spend on their writing. And it's true in most cases. Most of us lead very busy lives with many responsibilities and numerous demands that seem to eat away the day in large chunks.

     However, we all realize that to achieve some measure of success in the writing biz we must somehow chisel out some time to devote to the process of putting words on paper (or electronic storage). I don't profess to have any magic formula to make this possible for all you writers out there. You're the only one who knows your schedule and the demands made of you. But I do want do suggest that you attempt to carve out some blocks of time to devote to your projects almost every day.

    To put this idea in a shorthand version, you must maintain continuity and cognizance of your work-in-progress in order to ever achieve its completion. Sure, this will probably mean you have to give up doing other projects or activities you feel obligated to do, as well as some activities you simply enjoy doing. There's no way to add time to your day. You must set your writing goals and arrange some time to carry them out.

     I write novels, which is the most time-consuming task most of us will try to achieve. It's been compared to a marathon race. Slow and steady wins the day. You know, keep on trucking. And it's imperative that you    maintain contact with your work and make some progress in it almost every day.

     The advantages to maintaining momentum in writing are many. By revisiting your project almost daily, you keep the piece in both your conscious and subconscious mind. Even when you sleep, your brain is working on solutions to problems in the project. And you don't have to waste precious time going back over your writing to see what the heck you were contemplating or attempting with the piece when you were working on it two weeks before, and where you were thinking about going with it next.

     Maintain that continuity and cognizance of your project, and you'll reach completion of it. Organize your time, keep your project in mind, and watch your productivity increase. In other words, "Keep on trucking" and you'll surely "Get 'er done." The day your type THE END will be a fine testament to your discipline.




Julie Luek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Luek said...

Try that again:

I just read and wrote down a quote from Daniel Pink: Writer's block is bunk. It's simply a sad excuse for not confronting the blinking cursor and your own inadequacies.

He also said: Muses are for amateurs-- the rest of us just show up and get to work.

Well said, Mr. Pink. You're right, of course, we have to write

Beryl Reichenberg said...

I enjoy creating, so it doesn't seem like a job. If I have a block with one project, I turn to another. Somehow, presto, the block is gone when I return. But finding time to create can be challenging as "life" seems to intrude everywhere. You are right, even then our minds are always at work. Thanks for the reminder, Beryl

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Good post, Mark, keeping at it is what gets it done. Of course we all have things that interrupt the flow--but that's to be expected.