Small things for Small thoughts
I’m always looking for a solution to little problems that can hamper my writing, especially the problem of putting off starting to write the story – or continuing with what I’ve started.
Actually, lots of things can hamper a story. Not having a well thought out character or having a half baked plan about where I’m going or what the hell the whole story is meant to be about.
All our Problems and Solutions
My problem is the same as everybody else’s problem. Avoidance, distractions, facebook and the many other really important things which make life complicated.
There’s always something to grab your attention and get your mind working. It’ll pull you in with a fascination like Medusa’s Head full of snakes, and then it’ll turn you to stone. That’s when the thoughts start; get me out of here – I need to get writing, now. But nothing happens because the mind has been snared in its own trap.
I’ve been there a lot. I’ve thought about it a lot.
What the Real Problem and How to Solve it
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s unavoidable so long as we allow ourselves the freedom to do anything we want whenever we want. Like, sitting down to open up Scrivener and then that thought pops-up; I’ll just check Facebook before I start writing.
There could be something really important on Facebook. If you don’t check it out the world will roll away without you and you won’t see that beautiful photo that someone posted. Their breakfast of red tomatoes, bacon and eggs all shiny, oily plate with a smeared fork after it’s been licked clean and their own reflection in the window pane, mobile phone held up and stark bollock-naked after the morning shower.
The problem of starting something, even when the page already has ink on it, is the feeling that once we begin writing we are trapped into doing something for hours on end. There’ll be no way out. The story will immediately grab our attention and we’ll sink into the world of character and prose and become lost.
That means no more Twitter or Facebook or Blogging for hours on end.
Is that so bad?
Actually, it sounds just fine. But the mind, like a little jungle monkey, has much more fun swinging from branch to branch in search of bananas.
Swinging. That’s about the height of it. The mind just wants to move and keep moving to prove that it lives.
The thought of settling down and focusing on one object or idea causes the mind to baulk.
It’s not only writing that causes a block or stop situation with the mind. It’s reading, too.
Tell yourself that you’ll sit down peacefully and read for two hours. You’ll quickly find something much less important to keep you busy.
But you’d swear that you felt like it was important.
Guilty Minds and Dirty Thoughts
The real problem is that all these stops and blocks create a feeling of guilt in the mind and that creates emotional baggage that we remember the next time we want to write.
Sometimes, after I’ve spent two or three days telling myself that I’m going to sit down and write and I realise that I’ve been saying that for quite some time, I feel like a car that’s having its engine revved up and all that’s happening is that I’m making a lot of noise and annoying myself. I’m in neutral and I’m not going to win any races.
All the clues to solving the problem are in the problem.
The problem exists because of the object – writing. The writing exists because of desire.
Desire isn’t singular and of one character. For example, desire can’t suddenly be only writing without the action of writing focusing that desire.
We have to pick up the pen, march to the battle and stand-to, ready for the force of desire to sweep through the mind and take us on our journey into the worlds that we create. To work or do battle.
This is easy to create. Just sit down and begin writing and I guarantee that your mind will stay on the writing.
Facebook, Twitter and breakfast photos will lose all meaning as they quickly fade into the space around you and the awesome world of fiction and metaphor make your mind come alive and really start to live.