These past couple years, I’ve gotten a lot better at really fleshing out my writing career and taking on the persona of a professional writer. I’ve started writing more. I’ve started thinking of myself as a “writer” rather than an “aspiring author”. Heck, I don’t even dress the same anymore. But one thing I still have a huge problem with is turning on Writing Mode.
I don’t know how other writers do it: sit down and just work for hours and hours on end. These blog posts don’t count. I can scratch one out in less than twenty minutes if I really need to. But when I need to write a longer, dedicated fiction piece, I have to rely on being able to be in the mood, and if I’m not, I just can’t do it. I let myself get distracted way too easily. When I have a day off, the day before my mind says “Perfect chance to get ahead of the game: a week’s worth of blog, get some homework in, maybe even write the Sunday short and work on the next D&D session!” But when that day actually comes, I don’t get out of bed until almost noon, and I take two hours to ‘wake up’, eating breakfast and watching videos until it the sun’s made it’s descent. I probably take an hour or two of a video game break in between what little work I actually get done.
I’d love nothing more than to get out of bed at nine, write a blog post or two every hour with a ten minute Hearthstone match in between. Once I get far enough ahead I can take an actual lunch break before I hunker down and write some fiction. But my mind is just never there. My willpower is never strong enough. I wonder why that is. My days yield four thousand words at their strongest, and I’m not saying that’s a small amount, but those are outliers. Those are abnormally productive for me. I want that to be way more normal than it is, but I can’t get my mind to want that enough.
I keep telling myself that it’s just school. I want the semester to be over so I can get more time to write, but I don’t know if it’s just an excuse. Maybe the problem will get even worse because I have more time to write. Obviously a change in mindset is necessary here, I’m just not sure how to accomplish it. In the very least I want some buffer days so that if I’m caught without work, I can publish stuff without having written that day (I say as I write this at almost 3am).
But I don’t know. Am I asking too much of myself? I write on average around five thousand words a week. I could do that in a day. In fact, I could pretty easily write the entire week’s worth of fiction every, say, Friday, and have nothing that needs doing throughout the rest of the week. It sounds a lot more appealing than the “get it done when I want/need to” system I’ve got going, but our brains don’t always pull the strings. Plus, if I’m that productive on Friday, that would open the week up to more fiction writing, which should be my end goal anyway.
In the very least, I do hope this will stop being a problem come the summer, when I’m left with nothing but a laptop on a week-to-week basis. That’ll mean no more video games for me!