Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Don't Break the Chain in favor of Perfectionism

So, I'm going to be upfront here.

I have developed some really bad habits.

Compared to where I was a year ago, I have been writing drastically less. While I keep making excuses and going through small bouts of HOORAH! where I try to write and peter out quickly, I'm generally just not staying motivated. Part of it has to do with stressing about doing something 'right' but part of it comes from simply not keeping focused.

That said, I'm going to be trying something a little different...
Also, quick shout out to Dan and Arin. Love you guys!

While I'm not sure about the entire concept behind 'not breaking the chain', I think the idea behind just doing anything to keep the rhythm flowing isn't a terrible one. My thought process is always looking for something that is, for lack of a better term, "marketable". Because of this, I seem to get stuck in a rut of thinking "I should try this" followed by "I can't do it." or "I don't have time." and it just goes into a tail spin of staring at my computer screen and getting nothing done.

Here's what I'm going to try. Of course I will continue to work on my given novel ideas. I believe I will attempt to focus on the Smithy story as I feel particularly attached. But I will also attempt to do Open Book discussions about any relevant writing topics that strike me as well as OTHER writing. This other writing may be big or little (one thing that grabbed me is just snagging a writing prompt and running with it for a short story) but it has to be SOMETHING. This way, it forces me to stay focused.

At the moment, I want to hold myself to four times a week, but I'm not sure if I can maintain it. Maybe three? I'm going to have to see how my work and personal schedules TRULY effect my writing schedule when I'm trying to maintain consistency.

That said, just a quick status shout-out about where we will be going from here. Thanks everyone!


  1. Hi Robert - it is important to keep writing isn't it ... so good luck with all your writing projects - cheers Hilary

  2. Staying focused and overall motivated is something everyone struggles with, I think. Good luck! Hope this new writing schedule of yours leads to many, many words...

  3. Good luck.]
    I think perfection is a whip that too many of us use on ourselves. And also believe it is a myth.

  4. I struggle with perfectionism as well. And it hasn't gotten any better after several books and anthologies.
    Go where you want, not where is marketable. Otherwise your heart isn't in it.

  5. Perfection will never come due, but one has to write and do what they can do.

  6. Sounds like a great idea, and maybe some great ideas will come out of it ;-)

  7. Hope that works for you. I can totally understand losing focus, it happens.

  8. I once got an agent and set myself down the "write commercial and marketable horror" path. That ended in a lot of over-thinking (What do people want to read?) and 30k+ of wasted manuscript. I fired the agent, thought about what *I* wanted to read, and decided to write the weird, dark and macabre thriller that I really wanted to write. Judging by early reviews, I made the right decision. But I still lose focus. I still stop dead when I feel something in an ms is "wrong" somehow and I need to figure it out. I'm coming off a 4-month break now, but I fixed an ms problem, have an awesome idea for my next one, and I'm excited! Sometimes you can benefit by just writing what you'd like to read and by accepting that it takes as long as it takes. Good luck!!