DEBORAH CROMBIE: After reading the comments on my post yesterday on simplifying, I think that perhaps I am not as disorganized as I thought! There are some problem spots in dealing with daily stuff, but they are not unsolvable, or unmanageable.
The biggest issues for me seem to be scheduling, focus, and dealing with distractions. (Not even mentioning the new Facebook Graphic thing on my phone lock screen, which is completely mesmerizing...)
My friend Deb Harkness has suggested a couple of work-managing software ideas--Pomodoro, which is an online stopwatch (I think Jan mentioned something like this before, didn't she, REDS?) and a flow manager called KanbanFlow. I'll try both of these. If I've learned to use Scrivener well enough to write novels in it, I can deal with the learning curve for a flow manager.
But--helpful as these things are, I suspect they are just nibbling round the edges of the real problem. And that is the dreaded WRITING AVOIDANCE.
All you writers out there are shuddering, right? You know what I'm talking about.
WRITING AVOIDANCE is not the same thing as the infamous Writer's Block. Writer's Block, I assume, is having nothing to say. I wouldn't know. I always have something to say (maybe too much.) I have characters, I have setting, I have a plot so complicated I don't know how I'll manage to pull all the threads together, but that's nothing new. I always feel that way when I'm part way into a book and wonder why on earth I ever thought all this stuff would work out. I know from experience that if I just keep writing, it will.
No, WRITING AVOIDANCE is when you sit down at the computer and then suddenly find you are scrubbing the kitchen sink. Or cleaning out the dog toy basket. Or any number of useless things other than sitting and staring at that blank screen.
Maybe Stephen King doesn't suffer from writing avoidance. But most writers I know do.
What is this thing? Fear of failure? Partly, probably. But I've written fifteen-going-on-sixteen novels, and I know I can do it, and that it will probably be at least all right in the end.
I think it goes deeper than that. I think immersion in a novel requires a basic loss of identity. You are no longer entirely you. You are your characters, living your characters' lives, feeling your characters' emotions, and that is downright scary. Or your characters are feeling your emotions, the ones you don't allow to surface in your ordinary everyday life. And that is really, really scary. We resist that, heels dragging in the dirt.
Psycho-babble? Maybe. Either way, it doesn't matter. The book matters, and maybe I just need somebody to push me off the cliff.
REDS and all you writers out there, tell me I'm not the only one!