I have always wanted to write, but up until recently I have been unable to finish a manuscript. I thought that it would be easy, I may not say much out loud, but I have a very chatty inner monologue and I thought that transferring those dialogues in my head to paper would be a piece of cake! I was wrong.
I am not an established author (or even a published one unless you count my blogs) and I am really just finding my feet through the jungle that is being an Indie Author, but as I struggled this week to get words on a page, I realised that for writing to work for me I need to have three things line up – Desire, Inspiration and The Right Environment.
I don’t write full-time, I also own and run a business (well, two businesses) and have a husband and two adult, though living at home, sons. My life is busy and I can’t always schedule regular time to write and I can’t just drop everything when inspiration hits, so navigating the ups and downs of writing is a challenge; a challenge that I’m sure all writers can relate to.
The above Venn Diagram came to me today and it kind of puts my mind at ease a little bit. There is only a very small moment when everything comes together to make the magic happen and it sort of gets me off the hook a bit (but not entirely).
There are going to be times when I have the desire to write but I have no inspiration and am not in the right environment and that’s ok. Other times I will have inspiration but no desire or environment and still other times I will have the perfect environment but not the desire or inspiration. In all of these instances, I can cut myself a break. Trying to birth a book is hard and if we’re not kind to ourselves along the way, we are going to give up. There are going to be times when you just can’t do it and instead of beating yourself up over it, know that it is not a permanent situation and go do something else. I have decided that when I am only feeling one out of three, then that is the only time I can blow off writing without feeling guilty.
There are also going to be times when you will get two out of three, and in this instance, I want to make myself push through.
Having the perfect environment and the desire but no motivation? Write anyway. This is a time for character profiles or location details or research or story plotting. Even just writing words that may be edited out later is better than not writing at all.
Having the perfect environment and inspiration but no desire? Sit your butt down and write! Why waste both Inspiration and Environment? This is when you have be to tough with yourself and push through the lack of motivation. If being an author is what you want then this is when you need the willpower to stick with it. Write, write, write!
The hardest situation to work through is when you have the desire and the inspiration but not the right environment. This happens to me at work all the time and I have a little work around for myself…Evernote. I love this app and it allows me to quickly jot down ideas or short scenes while I’m on a break and then it syncs with my Mac when I get home. No ideas lost *yay*.
Sometimes, though, I will be at home, I have inspiration, I have desire, but my family constantly interrupt me. This can be so frustrating! But what can you do? Family needs to come first, so I do one of two things.
a. I ask for 30-60 mins so I can get down the ideas and thoughts I have and then I promise to give them my full attention
b. I close my laptop and decide that I would really rather spend time with them while they want to spend time with me. I give them the time they need and then take myself off to another room and get back to writing.
The best time of all is when the heavens align, all your ducks are in a row and you get that golden hour when the magic happens. This is when I realise that this is what I want to do, this is what I was created to do and this is what gives me the most satisfaction. Those moments are to be treasured and guarded diligently. There is no excuse not to write when everything falls into place and there is nothing more enjoyable than writing in those times.
For seasoned authors out there, this may seem really simplistic and basic or you may even disagree. I am the first to admit that I am no expert, but for me, this is a good visual representation of how writing works for me. For those who are just starting out like myself, I hope I have helped you in some small way or inspired you to look at what makes up your Golden Hour.