It’s Wednesday, time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

 Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write. ~ William Cobbett

Does anyone else out there procrastinate before they sit down to write? I put it off to ridiculous extremes. I find myself suddenly scrubbing the floor or mowing the lawns or making meals, anything to avoid that moment of starting. Apparently, I’m not alone.

‘We step up to the blank page — this snowy tract that hasn’t earned even a single footprint across its virgin expanse — and the potential overwhelms us. Or, it has me, at least — once upon a time upon starting a new story I’d feel like I was standing drunk on the ledge of a skyscraper. Vertigo overwhelming as if even typing one letter would send me dropping down in that cavernous concrete abyss.’ ~ Chuck Wendig

Ike Lee

This year, I’m working with two partners in critique. One of my critique peeps suggested I needed to round out the second point-of-view character, Ike Lee (pictured), as he was coming across as shallow, and therefore, unlikeable. Upon studying my chapters, I realized she was right and I hadn’t given away any clues to this character’s inner world.

The job, I realized, was to hack my way back through the jungle of the copy, remove chunks of deadwood and add new copy, giving physical clues, thoughts, feelings and realness.

This task has been the cause of my freeze-ups about returning to work. The book is already written. I’m in the editing stage, which is actually quite a lot of fun, though it requires sustained focus on detail for long periods of time. But, now the task at hand is to write whole new passages. Why does this instantly strike me with fear? Why do I doubt I can do it? I wrote the rest of the trilogy, for Pete’s sakes.

It means I waste time. I procrastinate. Though on the upside, the floor is sparkling and the lawns are tidy!

I think that part of the reason I waste time on self-doubt still, after all these years, is habit. I forget the wise words of William Cobbett, ‘Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write.’ I try to recreate the wheel. I feel I have to move mountains. I have to make the impossible happen – write new copy!

How do we change the old mindset, touted so often, of ‘letting one’s forehead bleed onto the typewriter?’

We subscribe to the new voices of a new generation. We let a little light shine into the darkness.

Daniel Jose Older

Listen to this! I found across this great quote from Daniel Jose Older

What about those crucial moments before we put pen to paper? For me, writing always begins with self-forgiveness. I don’t sit down and rush headlong into the blank page. I make coffee. I put on a song I like. I drink the coffee, listen to the song. I don’t write. Beginning with forgiveness revolutionizes the writing process, returns it being to a journey of creativity rather than an exercise in self-flagellation.  I forgive myself for not sitting down to write sooner, for taking yesterday off, for living my life. That shame? I release it. My body unclenches; a new lightness takes over once that burden has floated off. There is room, now, for story, idea, life.  I put my hands on the keyboard and begin.

‘Writing always begins with self-forgiveness.’

This message is my new guiding light. Thank you, Daniel! I’ve been inspired by Mr. Older for years. In fact, I quoted him a few times on my original website. But the quote above was new to me. It has given me a whole new positive framework for my writing.

When we apply a positive approach, we become more upbeat in every area. When we’re relaxed and feeling good about ourselves, we can get into the right frame of mind to hear and respond to the creative thoughts which abound on the ether. Thus, creativity flows!

Do you procrastinate before you start? Do you have any tips to share?

009

Keep Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

+

“Do or do not. There is no try.” —Yoda

 

 

Advertisements
Comments
  1. My tip for getting started is, accept that your first draft is going to be crap and that it doesn’t matter. Have fun with the crap! Then, when it’s finished, revise and edit. Not an original tip, but one that always helps me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      I like this very much. Thank you, Annabelle. I will not forget your line, “Have fun with the crap!” in fact, can I quote you on that? It’s gorgeous. And it’s also excellent advice 🙂

      Like

  2. I find that if I’m procrastinating I’m not ready to write. I do something else – mostly research or something totally unrelated – until i’m ready. I used to be inspired by walking. That seems to help a lot of people, it’s not procrastinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, I must admit when I used to walk every day, that was when I would get my best ideas, Barb. Walking is a good one. Since I took up running last year, I don’t get anything. Nada. Zippo. Maybe a quick walk around the block would help with the “unblocking?” I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the reminder! I have a friend who gets most of her inspiration while in the shower. That’s never worked for me, though, I don’t know about you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Yvette,

    Your art is beautiful, and your writing post today was encouraging.
    Glad to see Mr. Ape promoting your blog as well.

    Thank you for dropping my blog yesterday–I WAS KISSED BY AN ANGEL.
    You a wonderful job on the book “Kissed by an Angel”.

    Hope to see you around blog-o-sphere.

    Happy Heart Hugs,

    Tracy

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hey, Tracy,
      Thank you so much for dropping by! And there I was, worried that I’d been so nitpicky in my comment on your blog yesterday! All is well with the world again. I love making new friends on the net. 🙂
      Thanks for the lovely compliments, too. Doing the cover and the illustration for KBAA was literally the first time I’d picked up my art utensils in years and years. But we needed a cover and I wanted to do a painting to go with my story, so I was forced back into the fray. And I really did feel lifted up on wings while I was doing those pieces. It’s a very special project for a worthwhile cause. Bless your cotton socks for reviewing us and featuring us on your blog!
      As to the lovely Ape himself, I got such a nice surprise when I came online half an hour ago, and discovered he’d reblogged. 🙂
      I’m sure we’ll talk again!
      Keep doing your good work 😀

      Like

  4. Actually, I love to start…I fizzle out about 4 pages in though. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. karenmcfarland says:

    I love Daniel Jose Older! You and I have chatted before about his mantra. And oh boy does guilt and fear take over. Forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness is, I think, the most difficult. We tend to hang ourselves out to dry for way too long. I love the idea of the Insecure Writers Support Group and I’m off to join. Thanks for the encouragement Yvette! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hi, Karen! Yes, that’s right, I remember. 🙂 Daniel Jose Older is a shining light in the new generation of writers. Agreed. And even so, as you say, self-forgiveness is not easy. We need to let it suffice that we have started, and that we have that intention. As they say, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
      As for IWSG, I’m so happy you’re going to join! Yay!
      I was put onto it by a fellow Wana-peep, writer, Candilynn Fite. She knew I was just about to launch my own blog for the first time (over on Blogger, about 3 years ago) and that my biggest fear was of blogging to silence and no one. She said, I’ve got a simple solution for you, join the IWSG, and that way you’ll be able to comment on fellow bloggers posts and have them comment on yours. So I did. Little did I know, I’d meet so many great writers through it, or that I would end up having one of my blog posts on marketing included in one of their anthologies! It’s a win-win. So climb aboard. Welcome!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • karenmcfarland says:

        Okay, so I joined IWSG Yvette. I don’t know if I filled in the required fields properly. It asked me the name of my blog, but I think I should have put my name on it too or instead because now no one knows it’s me. There’s no name. Can it be adjusted? Truly, I have no idea what I’m doing sometimes. Lol. It’s scary. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Don’t worry, Karen. I’m exactly the same with all these things. I get by on a wing-and-a-prayer. 🙂 Just go back to the site and message the “Ninja Captain,” Alex Cavanaugh. He’s supery-dupery helpful and an all-round great guy. He’ll figure it out for you. And if you can’t find an email for him, then I’m sure he’s on my contact list so I’ll go find it for you. Let me know if you have any problems. p.s. Yay, you’re in!

        Like

  6. I can procrastinate with the best of them, but when I finally get to it, I knit words together and sometimes want to cry because I cannot believe I have fashioned a story I can work with. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s always tough to think you’re finished with a book and have someone point out that you may need to make changes. The question is, do you think they’re right? I find that if something strikes a chord with a reader who knows his or her business, it’s best to sit down and think through why they reacted the way they did. You may not need to make the fixes they suggest, but you should look at your book and see what the problem is.

    I hate to go back and make changes, but I always do. Always, as painful as it is. And I’m always happy with the results and grateful for the suggestion, even if I take my changes in a different direction than the suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, excellent points, Phillip. As soon as she said it, her voice colluded with the little inner writer’s voice I’d been ignoring, and said, you need to develop this character more. That being said, however, I did find that I naturally stopped about halfway through the book. He’s introduced now. We know him. So to do anymore would be overkill.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s