So I’m off from school today because of the snowstorm hitting my area and I thought it’d be a good idea to take advantage of the free time I have to write something.
I don’t know why, but I’ve been going through something of an inactive period with this blog. This is for a number of reasons, mostly relating to the semester’s workload right now and there being little time and inspiration for me to write.
I find the things that inspire me to write to be rather odd. I often sit down to write a piece and find myself stopping and starting periodically until the work is done. I’m in a class that focuses on internet-based writing and the book we’re using for the course talks about how hard it can be to write. I don’t really see eye-to-eye with the author of the book, but this is one thing I agree with him on. *I also had to create a blog for that class and it turns out, when you know your blogging is going to be graded, that makes it even harder.*
Writing’s not easy. It’s never been easy. But if you find what helps you to be most productive with your work, the task (perhaps once seeming monumental and impossible) becomes much easier.
But you may wonder, what drives one to write? That’s not always an easy question to tackle because, even if you have an incredible idea that you think could be a Pulitzer Prize-winner, getting it out on paper is a whole other matter.
For me, that particular hurdle ends up being the one that is most frustrating, because I know what I want to write, but I just can’t put it out there in a way I feel comfortable with. And it’s especially hard when you’re on a time crunch to get the work out or published.
But that begs the question, what can you do about that? It’s not like every day you’ll wake up with ideas that you need to write down.
The best part about the answer to that is that it may require a little self-motivation and a certain level of personal comfort to really get into what you’re doing. For me, personally, I find that I sometimes write better with instrumental tracks playing as I’m writing (in fact, I’m listening to the instrumental of “You’re the Only Reason” by Basixx as I type this out). I sometimes really like having a cup of coffee nearby, because it allows me to get up for a minute to make it and then look at the work with fresh eyes. And, honestly, I find the smell of coffee kind of nice as well, adding to that level of comfort needed to really get it done.
That being said, you also need to be aware of any barriers that may stop you. For me, I can’t listen to anything with lyrics or talking, because if I do, it meshes together with what I’m trying to write and I lose my ability to think clearly. I tried listening to a Nostalgia Critic review yesterday while writing a paper for school, and it just ended up jumbling my thoughts.
There is nothing wrong with giving yourself little rewards as motivation to pursue the craft of writing. Because, let’s face it: it’s hard as hell to write something at all, let alone something that is absolutely perfect that could win an award because of how amazing it is. If your motivation works, go for it.
So, I find myself wondering, what do you do when you’re in a time crunch to get something out, but lack inspiration? I’ve run into this problem while writing reviews in partnership with BookTasters sometimes. When I run into that, I often find myself looking over the notes I took on the book I’m reviewing to see if that can push me to put something down. I also make sure that the environment I’m writing in is as comfortable as possible. When those fail, I usually either step away for a bit, or try to just start writing and see where it goes. I guess what can be taken from that is the same as what I said before: try to get comfortable and in a state where you can work on something productively and actively. And if you absolutely can’t get anything down at all, don’t be afraid to step away. As long as you come back to it, there’s no harm in taking a bit to recoup.
As I said, writing is not an easy task and I do often run into people at my job who have no idea how to handle the work writing requires. In the end, though, it’s all about passion, comfort, and self-awareness so you’re not overworked. If you have all of these qualities, writing can be an incredibly fun and fulfilling experience.
And, finally, just because I love Richard Bach…
*FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF WRITING ON THE WEB*:
Just as a side note related to the class I mentioned, the blog Writing on the Web was created solely for that class and will be deleted in May, once the semester concludes. I will post a final announcement about the blog’s deletion once all of the assignments for that course are completed.