The Habit I Need to Kick to Write
I’m rounding third base on a novel right now, which I have spoken about before. It still feels very much piecemeal, as my ideas of it have changed over time, and I’ll need to edit a lot to make it coherent. Several times I stepped away and worked on different projects. This sometimes happened because of the technical difficulty of structure or writing particular scenes, but it would also happen because this book is rather personal to me, and I would sometimes want to step away for some perspective or not want to revisit the topics. And yet, I continued to return because it was so personal and important to me.
Because of this, a habit/quirk of mine has also been making this book difficult to write. See, since at least kindergarten or preschool, I tend to pretend that someone else can see my life through my eyes. It’s often because I’m excited about something and want to show a friend, or I want to introduce a favorite show or movie to another, or something reminds me of my parents or a teacher (or their class) or another acquaintance. So I’ll imagine they’re there with me, often looking through my perspective.
When I’m on the computer, I’ll always have my current writing project up, as well as the Internet and whatever else I could possibly work on (a blog post, email, etc). This certainly isn’t the best strategy for time management, but it’s a habit. Naturally, before I start writing, or when I’m stuck, I’ll end up on the Internet, and something will remind me of someone else, and then they’ll be there on the computer with me. And when they’re with me, I’ll have difficulty shutting them out and going back to writing–especially if I’m writing an emotional, personal scene. It’s kind of like someone is watching you write over your shoulder, which is never pleasant. Some fun dialogue scenes I can write, but it’s those serious emotional moments that are based on aspects of my personal life–situations that these people who are “with” me may have been involved with–which are difficult to focus on and just write.
I haven’t kicked this habit quite yet, but the upcoming weeks for me are a little busy, so I think I’ll be able to schedule specific times to work on specific things, which should increase productivity and concentration and allow me to immerse myself in my story.