Always worked for me.
There is a lot here I can relate to. I have something of a mildly bipolar relationship with writing; sometimes the juices are flowing, and sometimes everything seems so futile. I try to take advantage the first frame of mind, and identify the other so I can do something else instead.
Today is a good example: earlier this summer you had posted a "sci-fi speed-writing challenge" that I had an idea for, but I had just started the story for Camelon's contest and couldn't afford to get distracted. So even though no one submitted anything for that challenge… yesterday I had an opportunity to devote a block of time to cranking out some words, and indeed I got through 8000 words on a new storygame before the brain cells stopped firing around 11 PM. I'm here now because I have all night to burn through a few more hours of writing… but after looking at the same page for over an hour and only coming up with a few paragraphs, I realized it wasn't happening. I'll probably read for a while instead.
Certainly, having a regular sleep cycle is helpful. Yeah, sure, there are nights when I'm up to 4 AM working on something, but that's not anything I could sustain. I see those as one-off events, where I have the motivation and energy to keep going until I'm done. Then it takes me a day or two to recover. But I absolutely feel more imaginative and productive if I've been sleeping reasonably well.
My employer would love it if I could crank out lots of overtime like everyone else I work with, but I know from experience that I'd be useless to everybody after just a few hours. Currently I give them a solid 8 hours, and then I have to insist on moving on. Otherwise I'd burn myself out, feeling depleted during the day with nothing left over for my free time.
And more than once I have soured on things I used to enjoy writing about. For example, I used to keep a detailed journal of my outdoor trips for about 12 years. I enjoyed doing it, right up until the day I didn't. Nothing changed, except that I got bored with the idea and the weekly writing became a chore I had to force myself to do. So rather than forcing it, I moved onto something else (...which isn't intended as encouragement to quit whatever you're working on, just that the inability to focus on a project might itself be telling you something).
Turning off the inner-editor/critic is hard. There are a few tricks to getting past it - I think it's why I can sit down now and just crank stuff out, when I used to spend hours staring at a page if I tried to write anything, and would usually only do much creative stuff if roped into it by friends. And I always felt whatever I wrote wasn't good enough to show anyone.
Here are a few of the things I've figured out that help me, anyway:
1) When ending a session, stop in the middle of a sentence or paragraph if you can. Or write a couple notes on where you want to go next. This way when you start up again, you aren't looking at a blank screen or have no hook to start from.
2) When first sitting down to write for the day, spend five minutes just typing as fast as possible. Preferably faster than your brain can think. It can be on a story or on a different project or even just brainstorming for something. Or funny things about cats. Do not edit. The goal is to keep your inner critic from even activating.
Doing this as a daily practice helps slowly build some immunity against your inner voice screaming everything is garbage, since there's no pressure on what you write in this five minutes to be any good. Plus, it gets you into the discipline of being able to immediately start writing when you sit down instead of blearily procrastinating.
3) Don't stop to edit during a writing session. This one gets me a lot. You can use little shorthand tricks to note things to come back to later, which you can cntrl-f. Things like * for research, ^ for unsure wording, [ for notes, TK for a name you can't decide on yet, etc. But as much as you can do to separate your writing sessions from your edit sessions will help the writing come faster since you aren't inwardly trying to edit it as much.
4) Schedule edit sessions. At least this works for me. My inner-critic is much happier if I promise myself I will do an edit session in two days or after five pages or something, and then shuts up more and lets me write.
5) I rarely manage this but it helps when I do - try to write in a different location than where you do other stuff on the computer. This can be moving a laptop to a different room, or squirreling oneself away with some paper and a pen. Try to minimize distractions that can pull you away. (This is easier said than done.)
6) Find a writing slot you can do daily without interruption, even if it's five or ten minutes. This helps build up a good routine of just sitting, writing, then moving on to other things. A few hundred words a day adds up fast if you do it every day, and ten minutes of writing is more productive than two hours staring and wanting to do anything but write.
If you can write fueled by alcohol, then I salute you. I might get some writing time in with a beer in hand, but at the same time I can almost feel the neurons slowly shutting down for the day. More often, I need a shot of whiskey or something when I'm done, to turn off the cup of coffee I had at the start of the session.
Same here. I tried the alcohol thing and it didn't work for me, either. I do most of my writing when I'm completely exhausted from work. Not good writing, but the words get out. Then I clean it up and make it more or less coherent through editing after I've slept a few hours.
All I'm hearing is the same old excuses. When you're ready you'll know it. Until then, just keep doing the same things you've been doing and expect different results.
Because I'm saying it like it is instead of coddling her? Okay... I mean, life's short and she could die tomorrow. She knows this and would rather make excuses than to put in the actual effort. There are plenty of sites out there that will tell her what she wants to hear. She's a big girl, if she can't handle it she should move to one of those. Or she can just live with her decisions without regret. Life is what you make of it, after all.
And since they're probably falling on deaf ears, I'm done with the platitudes. She can do whatever she wants.
I think something was lost in translation here. Mizal knows what I'm trying to do.
And just FYI, I'm not the one being the asshole. I'm being ... motivational.
"Women! Go figure 'em!"
Lol I know, right?
Really, though, not everyone is as insane as you are. Most people would say to themselves "Oh, yeah!? Well, I'll show you!" Whether or not they actually follow through is another thing...
My bad. Thought I was reading more into this than there really was. I guess someone should take up a collection for your half assing it medal and the subsequent presentation ceremony since that's obviously what you're fishing for here instead of, you know, attempting to climb out of the rut you've been stuck in for the nine plus years you've been on the site. I'll bow out now and you can go back to slinging crap at the walls to see what sticks and whatnot. After all, half assed is now the American way.
Who's blowing up? I just thought I'd do my good deed for the day. Lot's of luck with your future writing, though I don't see it happening any time soon.
Apparently I did hit on something since Mizal has sicked her minions on me. Oh well, she can either continue with that same sad, teary-eyed song of hers or else try to do better. She hasn't improved since I've been here and I don't see it ever happening at this rate. I don't really care anymore.
Don't worry IAP, your fellows have got your back!
Had to capitalize the first word of the thread, it was driving me nuts.
Also, keep reading this as "Don't gay about writing anymore" which would be excellent advice for CoG.
This thread was pretty dull at first, but after IAP and Mara started posting it became Lol City.
Well, well, well... If it isn't the Millidiot's Off White Knight. I thought you'd had enough already, but I guess not. Don't sweat it, it's nothing personal.
Don't we all...
We don't even get insurance
Don't sell yourself short, even unintentionally funny has its merit.
This is IAP in this thread
Tfw denied your Indian CYS girlfriend, and then you leave and her (but mostly you) leave out of embarrassing shame, deleting all of your posts in a sweaty passionate furry of the likes never seen before. However, then you return with an incel vengeance.
And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky CYS women!
Moral of the story: Do not deny horny boomers their Indian CYS girlfriends.
Looks like the gang's all here. Not surprising since I can only imagine how difficult it would be to pull all those heads out of Mizal's arse once wedged in. I wonder if that's why she's having difficulty focusing? I mean, the uncomfortable factor alone...sheesh!
Shouldn't be any less difficult when we had to pull your head out of a certain someone's ass. I personally don't think mizal is super horny enough for us to the point of wanting to buy a plane ticket and shack up, so, hmmm. It shouldn't be anymore difficult when you think about it.
It's okay, Thara. You don't have to rationalize it to me.
I won't, IAP. I just hope you're able to cope with not being able to delete what has been said in a mass hysteria. Drink it all down and hang your head up in pride in these golden years of yours.
As implied, I'm not judging here. You be you.
As long as you keep being yourself, you won't have to worry about that :)
Quit talking about mizal's ass boomer, she's too young for you.
My bad. I should've known you'd throw your head in at some point. I'll just back away slowly...
See, I started reading this thread from the bottom, and this is the first thing I saw. I didn't know where this was going, but this thread was way better than I would even have expected from this teaser.