On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Procratination & Rationalizations & Guilt

Yes, I suffer from this, as do many writers. And, like many writers, the big one that sucks me in most of the time is Surfing the Net (under the guise of Research). It used to be Games, but I've taken all the games off my desktop and laptop (I have 2 on my pda).

And yes, I'm almost worse with real life than in writing. I greatly respect my contractual deadlines. So I haven't cleaned my house (rationalization: too tired, other social obligations, writing, it's COLD downstairs) or spoken to my brother about fixing the washer pipe and water handle (rationalization: Mom will come over too and I need to clean the downstairs and I want the back porch to fully dry out). I haven't updated my resume for my agency (rationalization: pure yech and ostrich-sticking-head-in-sand)

And yesterday I didn't write. Not only did I NOT make my wordcount, I didn't write at all. Ok, I opened my file and dinked with a couple of words, that's not writing. I DID read a research book, ponder, and went to a holiday party to support and be supported by other writers (and had great fun), but I didn't write and I had plenty of time.

Well, I had been fighting a headache all day long and it got worse when I got home and I went to bed early and slept long, long.

But I believe in writing every day. So I can flagellate myself with guilt for not doing any of the above and call myself a lazy slob, or I can open a new file after I finish posting this and work on the new scene that came to me sometime yesterday/last night.

So you (and I procrastinate), get over it. Don't dwell on the past days of no wordcount. Move on. And if you can't move on at home, take your laptop or a pen and paper and go outside your usual writing space where there are less distractions.

May you write long and well today,


Anonymous Crystal said...

I keep saying I'll write on the weekends because I need to work during the week but I haven't written a word in weeks. I know that it won't get done without actually sitting down to write (that realization came with maturity, I tell you what) but I won't beat myself up over and make writing a chore.

It helps that I'm not pro and don't have check writers waiting for words from me. I can get away with this while I'm still amateur. Of course, that's my rationalization. Cuz I won't get to intermediate until I get a decent daily wordcount. :D

What doesn't help is that I just bought a bunch of books from favorite authors and am just eating them up. Usually when I can't get satisfaction from other authors, that's when I get down to writing.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Hmmm. Well, I have a rationalization for you with regard to reading -- you are doing RESEARCH into plot, technique, etc. Sometimes you have to let the well fill, really. If you need a motivational stick, there are groups. Romance Writers Unlimited, the Luna Message Board has a thread on writing and awards virtual prizes for certain goals, and there's SurvivorWriter on yahoo groups. The main SurvivorWriter demands 15 pages a week or you are AXED. You would start with Survivor Island and be expected to do 5 pages a week, I think.

I made my wordcount yesterday, but it was late in the day.

Give yourself a break,

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

You're so sweet. Thanks for all the encouragement and recommendations. Those groups sound great. I saw your post not too long ago on RWU and it's bookmarked. I wasn't sure if I could do two reviews a week so I haven't joined yet. But I defitely think of Georgette Heyer as research. Anything that exquisitely written doesn't return void. :D

5:24 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, studying technique in others can be good, though watch the "Regency" research, Heyer was notorious for MISDIRECTION because others didn't do the research she did and based all their "Regency" knowledge on her books....

Take Care,

8:42 AM  

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