Of course you guys knew that already. So what I did today was write down a lot of things that might or might not be objectively true, but will have to be true if I’m going to write fiction in the midst of distractions. Then I recorded myself reading those things aloud. Then I recorded an app on my phone that plays stuff I like that kind of helps block other noises…crickets, frogs, thunder, and so forth. Then I put the two tracks together, fiddled with them, and created a five-minute MP3. Which I put back on my phone.
So I’ll probably play the thing for myself, and let it repeat, as I sleep.
Why would I do this? Well, how’s it going to hurt? I credit Lawrence Block with any value this plan has, and freely offer both the idea and the text as targets for your amusement. The text follows:
I am not behind. I’m never behind. I always have exactly the progress I’ve created. I have no obligation to write.
There is no reason I can’t write, often, except that I get in the way. Writing is easy and fun for me.
I don’t need a particular method. It’s okay to type on a Neo, type directly on my laptop, dictate into my phone or laptop, type on a Bluetooth keyboard, or what have you. I don’t need special equipment. A napkin and a pencil will do in a pinch.
I will aim for one draft, but will leave placeholders with quick notes to myself in lieu of stopping to do research, or stopping to figure something out, or stopping to flip back through previously completed work to answer a question. I will produce one clean draft, with quick notes as needed.
I don’t need a particular location. I can type at my desk, or in a coffee shop. I can dictate while sitting on a rock, or possibly while walking down a trail.
I don’t need a particular schedule. I can write anytime I get a free moment. I can write on a Neo, or dictate text, while sitting on a bench and watching kids play. I can write at my desk while kids watch TV. It does not matter that I will be interrupted, or that dictation is faster than typing. It only matters that I can write if I want to.
I can write in a crowded room, while being distracted. Writing is not difficult. It does not require perfect concentration.
Writing is not a job. Writing may or may not lead to income. Writing more is better than writing less. I feel good when I write. I feel bad when I don’t write. So I should write, a lot, and feel good.
Planning and outlining kill the fun. I will not plan to write anything in particular. I will write whatever I feel like writing. I will not plan writing time, because that creates pressure. I will find time when I feel like writing, and write only then.
I don’t owe anybody any fiction. I write for my own enjoyment. If I’m not enjoying what I write, I will write something else.
Writing is not important. I don’t have to stop doing anything else in order to write. Writing is just a fun thing to do. I write for fun, only, and often, because I want to.
The business side of writing is not writing. Writing blurbs and descriptions are part of the business side of things. They are only tangentially related to fiction. I write fiction to tell myself a fun story. Blurbs and descriptions exist to sell books and stories.
I do all my writing myself. I do all editing myself, too. I create my own book covers, and blurbs, and descriptions. I do all the book design. I don’t need a team. It’s okay that other people have teams. They just get in my way.
I publish everything myself. I may or may not allow others to publish my work in the future. That is a business decision, and has nothing to do with my writing.
Writing is creation. Publishing is business. Writing can not be a slave to publishing. Publishing is a game to be played after writing is finished.
I do not check sales figures. I do not read or solicit reviews. Instead I write more than I would if I let those things take over my brain.
As a matter of convenience I usually write on my phone. I almost always have my phone with me. My phone has current versions of whatever I’m writing. I can edit on my phone.
It is time to write now.
So that’s it. Enjoy it if you can, and have fun out there!
Hope it works for you – your method would drive me mad. Madder.
No one says you have to write any way but your own.
Go for it. How do you like the results? That’s the only thing that really matters.
Well, there’s the part about the above not necessarily reflecting objective reality to consider. So far the only thing that’s worked reliably for me is waking up and going straight to my desk to write for a couple of hours. Unfortunately that option isn’t available to me, because of kids of varying ages with different bedtimes and school hours…these kids being the type who both want and need a lot of attention, which I’m happy to give them. So I’m trying to tell myself that there are other options. We’ll see if that works.