Tricking yourself into writing

by Claudia Blood

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I have to trick myself into writing.

Yes, I want to be a writer, but writing is HARD. Daydreaming about stories is almost as satisfying as writing them down and far easier. There’s none of that messy grammar or infestation of typos or the pull of everyone’s ideas on the ‘right’ way to write.

Half of you read that sentence and thought ‘your grammar sucks’, the other half thought ‘oh she used the rhetorical device called polysyndeton’, the other half didn’t notice. See? So hard.

But, sigh, I really want to be a writer even with all the rejection, self-doubt, and getting on lists because of my internet searches.

The first trick I tried to make myself write was giving myself a deadline. Yeah, that didn’t work. A year had passed and I still hadn’t finished anything. Started? Yes. Finished, not so much. I was a wuss and couldn’t be my own accountability-buddy.

I tried getting with some writing buddies. I did get some work finished, but as soon as someone cut me slack, I took advantage of it and stopped finishing. My best month was when I participated in a ‘short story a day’ challenge. I posted the story on a shared google drive where my buddies could see it. I did 26 stories that month. There was something about the possibility of my buddies reading them that had me staying up late to finish. For the record, they never did look.

Was there another way I could have that same dynamic? That’s when the idea of the blog struck. If I got in the habit of sitting and writing something, it would eventually turn into finished stories. Right? I might be missing some dots, but it was a start.

The blog was born with no fanfare and no followers. But that’s okay; I could pretend I had followers. It would be the same principle that worked for me before. I set up to have a post every Monday.

I made my deadlines for a while, but it was hard and took way too much time. Trying to figure out what to write in a post was like trying to pick out just one dessert at the restaurant.  Near impossible.

I was whining to a writer friend about the difficulty I was having when she mentioned it could be my lack of focus. That sounded suspiciously like an F word. Those are bad, right? To be avoided at all costs?

Eventually, I found my desperately needed spirit guide, Focus Fox. Had I discovered a trick to make writing blog posts easy? Wow, I could bottle it and sell it. And… Ahem.

While I didn’t make a killing on eBay with my insta-easy sauce, I did discover that I was spending more and more time actually writing. And as I spent more time writing, it did get easier to finish what I started. Never easy, mind you, just easier.

So that’s the story of how I started my blog and ended up with the two different weekly posts.

I feel like there ought to be a moral. Like the sleeping writer never writes or don’t count your stories before they hatch or the watched writer never boils. Huh, I’ll keep working on those.

Claudia Blood is a writer, blogger, and geek living in Rochester, MN. She has a tiny issue with focus and has drafted a fantasy romance called Book of Secrets, a six-part Sci-fi series called Relic, and, strangely enough, a fantasy about a supernatural daycare. When she is not writing, or chasing her two young kids, Claudia works in IT where she slaves away for the man. You can check Claudia out over at her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

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30 thoughts

  1. I feel you! I started to write my own book some months ago and even if I really love the stor and am 100% convinced that it is going to be good I always have to force myself to sit down an write! And then I also started my blog which doesn’t make it easier, but thanks for sharing that


  2. I identified the same issue! Focus. Touched on it in my first blog post. I agree, I think blogging may help me get into the daily habit of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a tough time focusing, especially when I started taking writing seriously back in mid-2015, but by doing a little each day, even twenty minutes, is better than nothing. Take small steps and soon you’ll develop a habit and in time, you’ll be forcing writing into your day. It takes a bit of time, but do a little each day, and soon you’ll be rocking and rolling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Focus is tough. For me, heading out to the local Barnes and Noble at a specified time with the sole purpose to write has helped me immensely. On a good Saturday or Sunday morning, I can usually crank out 10-12 pages in a three to four hour period; 20 if I really hit as streak and pump out the words. Great blog, glad I follow you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed this and it’s all true! Guilty! Of everything she wrote in her blog here. There’s a blogger follow she’s taken a year of her blog posts and put them in a book uploaded to KDP and it sold well! She’s written about 14 or 15 books all together. I thought that’s genius and I wonder “will I ever finish my books? Working on 2. And, I use Grammarly! I think that’s what it’s called. I’m going to check out her blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, I saw you over at my blog as well. That does sound like a lovely idea. I do think about putting the focus fox together in a book once I have enough of them. For some reason it feels like it needs to have pictures. I just added a whole extra layer of hard. 🙂 Still a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I read your blog as I was flitting from one delaying activity to the next. I totally understand. Please send Focus Fox over so I can get some help in that department.
    Still procrastinating ..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I understand. I can tell those days when I think about moving furniture to vacuum under rather that start writing. I did learn a silly trick that sometimes helps. Tell yourself you are sitting down for JUST five minutes. Half the time I end up writing for an hour by starting with five.

      Liked by 1 person

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