Starting a book is easy, but finishing? That’s the great battle. With so many things out there that are demanding our attention – i.e. Work, friends, social media, those little goblin-type people called “kids” – it’s difficult to find the time to get your ideas on paper – not to mention, the drive. Every writer knows and has experienced a failing drive to write. Writer’s block is an idea murderer but with true determination and some confidence, it can be overcome.
Fifteen years of writing has forced me to endure many derailing distractions and I’d like to go ahead and list my clever escape methods from a few of them.
Distraction 1: Technology. Texting, Twitter, Facebook, email.
Method of Escape 1: Put your phone on silent and don’t log into any social media accounts. If you don’t hear the notification ping, you don’t know there’s anything to “check.” Simple.
Distraction 2: Family life.
Method of Escape: This one is a little trickier. I would say “put aside time,” but, being a mother of four, I know that’s not always possible. I tell myself I’m going to wake up early but then I’m up all night with a baby. I prepare everything in the house so I can write when everyone goes to bed, but then I’m too exhausted to get anything real good down on paper.
I’ve come to the point where I’ve decided my sanity is more important than the dishes. While the youngest are napping, I sit my butt down and write – even if there’s a mess.
Distraction 3: Friends.
Method of Escape: Many of us don’t have this problem as many writers are introverted. But, there are the scarce few that have a problem shutting up (*ahem* me) when there are people around. I go through periods where I’m always inviting someone over or going out just for the sake of talking to other adults but the more often I have to deal with people, the less time and energy I find for my writing. At this point, I put aside a time in the week to spend time with friends but most of my days keep friends at a distance so my mind is sharp for my work/play.
Distraction 4: Writer’s Block
Method of Escape: Sit your butt down at that computer and make it work. Writer’s block can kill interest in a project or it can depress you because you’re dying to get it moving forward. In my personal experience, it usually kills my interest. When I’ve gone more than two days, unable to get a story past a certain point, I make my preparations. I grab a soda (that is, sadly, my brain’s energy drink), a healthy snack like a bowl of nuts and dried fruit and I sit down. I reread through my last paragraph or two, but not further back than that or else I enter edit-mode. I think of where I want the story to go and if an idea doesn’t come, I usually skip a few lines and move the story forward, starting at a different place. I eventually find a way to connect it with where I previously left off.
Whatever the distraction, to be able to finish a book or project and to be able to call yourself a writer, it needs to be overcome. There is no pride in a book begun but never brought to an end. The finished product is within reach; it’s just up to you to make the choice and reach it.
If you’ve been craving short stories about heroes, and not just the kind with shiny spandex and a winning grin, this is the anthology for you. Within these pages are different takes on heroes and heroism. There are big damn heroes and every day heroes. There are sword-wielding women and gun-toting men, there are people scraping to get by and members of royalty, there are those looking for a job and there is even a young man wearing his underpants over his bluejeans. Every one of them is a hero, and I hope this inspires you to your own acts of heroism, big or small.
Buy An Ogre’s Tale
Everyone knows the concept of a wolf in sheepskin. The monster, rabid and ugly, disguised as innocent and sweet. In this story, another nature of the beast rears its head; for we all know what’s under the sheepskin, but none have seemed to wonder, where is the rest of the sheep?
Lilian Oake is a twenty-eight year old, aspiring to publish traditionally. She’s been writing traditional fantasy for young adults and children for fifteen years. She is best known for her free online novel called Nahtaia: A Faery’s Tale which has reached near four million hits. She can be found and contacted via Twitter, Facebook and by email.