I have two creative piece due in on the second week of May. I know what I’m writing for both of them, they both have clear direction and strong preliminary characters. But I can’t seem to sit myself down for long enough to actually work on them.
I wonder if it’s because the deadline is too far in the distance. Because it’s not looming over my shoulder, I can forget about its presence from time to time. But that is not a productive mindset. I made that mistake before Christmas, allowing the pressure of deadlines to swamp me. One of the key things I’ve learnt in second year is how hard work truly pays off in stories. Chipping away at the mountain makes it a lot easier to climb.
I also wonder if I’m too fussy about my writing conditions. I like to have as long as possible, a whole day preferably, to working on something. I have a habit of “pretending to be a writer” in order to focus. Do you do that? It’s where you picture your favourite writer and imagine what they do when they sit down to write and you try to emulate it. I think of Candace Bushnell at a huge desk with a tall glass of fancy coffee, so I sit down at our dining room table with a large mug of tea. I think seeing yourself as a writer is a real confidence boost.
I find it extremely difficult to squeeze in an hour here or there. I don’t believe this gives me enough time to immerse myself in the story. Every one works in different ways, naturally, and it might even be beneficial to my writing to stray out of my comfort zone. But when you know how you work best, maybe mixing up the formula is detrimental. I like days filled with writing, so my day off on Monday has officially been allocated as a “Uni day”.
A thought crossed my mind that I puzzled over for awhile – have I got writer’s block? I always thought The Block occurred during writing, where your pen freezes, the setting blurs around the edges and your characters turn to you and shrug their shoulders. I have a symptom of writer’s block, being unable to put ink on a page, but I don’t think that’s my affliction. I can see my stories panning out in my head, see all of the characters patiently sitting in the waiting room of unwritten ideas. I diagnose myself with an acute lack of motivation, to be cured with a large dose of time spent at my desk tomorrow and copious amounts of tea. Buck up Pen, get well soon.