Friday, October 5, 2012

Staying in the Room with the Writing--How to Keep Yourself from Getting Blocked, Distracted, or Stopping Altogether

So many writers come to writing with a deep love for books.  They feel that love for books will make them able to write--almost magically.  But then they learn how much work it takes to become a writer, to develop the skills and hone the actual process of writing.

Occasionally, this love for reading grows into a natural love for the writing process.  On good days, I am swept away by putting words on the page, dreaming up cool ideas, and figuring out ways to touch a reader's heart and mind.  It's the best job in the world.

Other days, I sweat it.  I am distracted too easily.  I feel stupid as I write, the words are not what I am seeing inside.  I give up at the first phone call, email ping, or view of the overflowing laundry basket. 

So, we all, eventually, have to discover what keeps us "in the room" with our writing, as short-story writer Ron Carlson calls it.  Why do we stop, when we stop--and what can we do about it?