Resistance

What is your Word Limit?

Posted on June 4, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, Staying-With-It, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , |

For the past few months, I have been targeting 1000 words a day as my writing goal. While that worked for some time, the ultimate result was that I could not sustain it.

Since the real goal is a sustained pattern of daily writing, this goal did not work for long term purposes. A new goal of 500 words a day, using a software tool called “yEdit2” from Spacejock Software, has helped.

What is your daily word goal? If you have stopped writing, consider that you set your requirement too high. Set a lower limit and see if that works better.

Worried that a lower limit means that your aspirations are too low? Keep in mind that you can raise your limits later, once your daily habit of writing is better established.

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Writing and Imposter Syndrome

Posted on June 2, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, Staying-With-It, writing | Tags: , |

One problem with writing is something called the “Imposter Syndrome.”

You are writing, and while part of you intuitively can tell this is important to you and that you need to be doing it, you have self doubts.

You are doing what writers do: you are writing.

But, you have doubts. You are not a “real” writer, whatever that is.

Maybe the time has come for you to create one or more character sketches of what you believe a “real” writer is. Chances are good that you can build several characters from this. And, as you build these characters, you will be writing.

This may not “cure” your imposter syndrome right away, but as you write you will eventually write away those feelings. With practice, you will overcome this.

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Repeating Obstacles

Posted on June 1, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, Staying-With-It, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools |

Sooner or later, you will reach a period in your life where repeating obstacles will block your writing. These may be happy times, sad times, or just a comfortable vacation.

These periods may be the most dangerous of all, short of death, to your productivity. The key to overcoming these is building in ways to learn to restart. After you have been writing for some time, and your daily habit is established, you test the waters by taking the occasional day off.

If you can survive the occasional day off, then after you have been writing for a significant period (months), you should test the waters with a period of two or three days off. The restart will likely be difficult, but the lesson to be learned here is how to restart after missing.

These planned periods off and restarts will help insulate you from periods of repeating disruptions.

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Relief in the Discomfort Past

Posted on May 22, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Opinions, Resistance, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , , , |

You may or may not believe in the ghost of Christmas past. But, we all have experienced relief in the discomfort past.

If you took the time to capture your discomfort when it was with you, you now have a chance to write about what it is like to have it gone. Did you take the air conditioner for granted. (This assumes you have one, and heat is an issue. Maybe you do not have one, or maybe you do not need one. I suspect this metaphor does not translate well to writers in Anchorage.)

Your word pictures from your time of discomfort now provide a context for your sense of relief. As you develop characters, don’t you think that they would go through the same process?

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Breaks Are Dangerous

Posted on May 14, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Opinions, Resistance, Staying-With-It, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , |

Breaks are dangerous. The inevitable emergency or demanding situation calls, and your writing efforts cease. One day turns into two, and two turns into three.

Adapting an old saying, supposedly a Chinese saying about drinking alcohol, to writing “breaks”:

  • Writer takes a day off.
  • Day off takes a day off.
  • Day off takes a writer.
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When Your Inner Dog Won’t Bark Back

Posted on May 13, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, Staying-With-It, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , |

Hemingway is reputed to have said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

 

Now, typewriters are passe, and we have desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets (electronic), and cellular telephones with micro-blogging tools such as Twitter. Shouldn’t writing be easy?

 

 

But sometimes when you talk to your Inner Dog your Inner Dog won’t bark back. Looking at you in silence, not even a whimper emerges. What to do?

 

 

Maybe this is the moment to take a break.

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Emitting Words

Posted on May 12, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, Staying-With-It, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , |

Some days, all you can do is emit words. Your daily writing task looms. It is an exercise, like athletes lifting weights or stretching. And, you know you must do your exercise.

But no words and no brilliant ideas seem to emerge. On these days, you must emit words. And, you can emit anything. It can be gobbledygook, randomness. If you are lucky, you can string it together into sentences. And, you might even string those together into paragraphs. Asking anything more than that can be too much. The job, on these days, is to emit words.

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Emotion Driven Writing

Posted on April 30, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , , , , , |

Extreme emotional states do not seem like good times for writing, but they can be the very best if you can focus yourself long enough to do it. Even the smallest snippets, maybe only a sentence or a phrase, can be a powerful seed for later development.

Whether you use a notepad or a word processor, learning to capture words in these moments can not only be healing but also be a source of inspiration for what may be some of your best work!

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Resistance

Posted on April 5, 2013. Filed under: Resistance, Staying-With-It, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , , , , |

Nanowrimo is not anywhere near, and I am focusing on a variant of the “morning pages” exercise of “The Artists Way.” I am writing 1000 Words a Day in the morning, and have been doing this for a few weeks.

At this point, I can say that what really stands out is what Julia Cameron calls “resistance.” In particular, this means the various weird things that happen to block the writing process. I am not talking about writer’s block in the ordinary sense where someone has trouble getting started.

While writer’s block can be part of “resistance,” often it is physical, such as suddenly feeling sleepy, or external, such as a dog getting into the trash precisely at the moment that you start to write.

Whatever it is, Julia Cameron has nailed down an important concept with her idea of resistance.

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