The last couple of days I’ve intended to spend a significant period of time writing. I even took Monday off work so I could sit at home and concentrate on the story I’m writing. Guess how much I accomplished on Monday. That’s right. You’re so smart. I accomplished ZILCH. So Tuesday I decided to buckle down and get something done. Guess how much I accomplished on Tuesday. Yeah, depressing isn’t it. Zilch…again. Pathetic. It brings me to my question for the day; what conditions do you require to be successful in your writing?
As I’ve thought about the last couple of days I have identified a couple of hurdles I did not clear.
1- Exhaustion- Many times I want to write but I. Just. Can’t. Prop. My. Eyelids. Open. Sometimes I’m simply too tired to concentrate and put forth any real mental effort. As interesting and exciting as writing can be, it is still work. It requires energy and if I I’m grumpy and snarly from fatigue my writing (if I do happen to manage a little) is weak and uninspired.
2- Spring Fever- I got a LOT of work done around the house Monday, but no writing. Many things, like finishing the tilling of my final garden plot, were good and maybe even more important for me to work on that day. There is a time and a season and frankly, Spring is a great and exciting season to be outside instead of stuck behind a desk like I am every day at work. By the time I was finished with my manual labor outside I found myself too exhausted to challenge my mental muscles.
3- Stress- Some days, like Tuesday, there were simply too many competing concerns that got in the way of my writing. I need to concentrate when I write and if I’m irritated or overwhelmed with other To Do’s or worries I simply cannot focus on my story. I need a certain level of peace. Not a lot, but some. Again, maybe Tuesday just wasn’t the right time for me to write. Or maybe I’m making excuses.
The bottom line is this; we all have obstacles to overcome as we seek to meet our writing goals. I want to write. I look forward to it but sometimes I need to put my writing on the back burner and focus on other aspects of life that are just as, or more important than writing my story.
So, I’m curious. Do you face the same obstacles as me, or are your obstacles different? What kinds of conditions are most conducive to your successful writing? Do you require a pile of chocolate to snack on? Soft jazz playing in the background? Or maybe someone rubbing your shoulders and popping grapes into your mouth? I’d love to hear from you.
My solution to the three problems I currently face is to reduce these three trouble areas as much as possible and my ultimate solution is found in the picture above. What solutions do you find?