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Not-so-massive Action Day

Writing coach Jurgen Wolff is doing another Massive Action Day today! It's still going on for a few more hours--I don't know where he gets his stamina. Even though I'm supposed to be resting and recovering from my Lasik, I couldn't resist joining in. I got a novelette planned and started, but holy hell, I'm exhausted now! Also, my computer went all wonky and booted me out of the chat before I could win a prize (because you know I always win a prize everywhere I go. People shower me with prizes just for being me). ETA: WOOT, I won the thing!*

I thought for sure it was my video card crapping out, which I've been waiting to happen since the beginning of the year, but then I ran a utility, found a disk error, got that cleared up and now it seems fine.

I had hoped to write 2k today but it looks like I will need to be happy with 1.6k. I'm seriously too pooped to keep going.

One thing that surprised me was that I used up an inordinate amount of time naming characters. Important, yes. Could I have given them placeholder names instead and reached my 2k? Yeah, probably so. And I'm really disappointed I didn't do that.

Are there any ways that you waste time when you want to be writing? Are there any ways you've found to circumvent those sneaky time-wasting ways?

*Here is what I won, YAY!

YET ANOTHER EDIT: I revisited the piece and got to 2025 words. Go, me!



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Andi Lea
Jul. 10th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, people shower me with prizes wherever I go too. *lol*

I waste time looking a pics for inspiration. It's terrible, but all the good lookin' man candy is hard to resist. I try to tell myself it's all for research. Circumventing it is difficult. I also do that thing where I contemplate various outcomes of a scene. That is a HUGE time waster for me. So, I've learned to just write a scene even if I know I will change it or cut it later. I even changed a character's name 30k into a story.

I wish I knew how to stop myself from wasting time. *sigh*

I am glad to hear you are able to get some work done the soon after surgery! Yay! :-)
Jul. 10th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I spent a long time looking for a man the other day (via photo, mind you) and then when I sat down to write, some other totally different guy showed up. I have no clue how that happens. The subconscious must have been doing something I was unaware of while I looked at pictures. In a way I dig that alchemy of writing phenomena.

Can you keep a file of interesting guys? Would that help narrow it down?

I'm wondering if maybe it's not a time-waster to work through multiple scene endings. I think sometimes writing is flat because the author just wrote the first thing that occurred to them without exploring possibilities. Sometimes the first thing that occurs to you is brilliant...but not always!

Edited at 2011-07-10 09:48 pm (UTC)
Andi Lea
Jul. 10th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
I think I need self control! As well as some organized filing. Which I am getting better at.

And I agree that the whole alchemy of writing is a strange wondreland.

Jul. 10th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
This is one of my ways of avoiding writing! I just have to check LJ/ email/ Goodreads/ other websites or anything else that occurs to me. I'm just tidying up mental stuff before I get down to writing - only I usually run out of time to actually write.

I've spent most of the last two days trying to update my website and after a series of digressions have only managed to update one page. I do have two pages in a different format that I prefer that are invisible to everyone else though...

I really need to find my way around this advanced procrastination.
Jul. 10th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
I do the same thing. In the morning, in particular, which I know is my brain's "prime time." It's a really dumb time for me to read email. I might begin using a timer or something. Fifteen minutes and that's all until I write 1000 words. Because I do need to look and ensure my online store hasn't exploded while I was asleep...but I don't need to read those lengthy threaded emails from my print-on-demand group right then and there. They will keep.
Jul. 10th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
What did you win?! I can't see/there isn't a link... Congrats!!
Jul. 10th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
GAH. I hate that LJ strips out amazon links. I thought they weren't supposed to! That pisses me off!

It's Do Something Different by Jurgen Wolff, one of his books on marketing that I don't own.
Jul. 10th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
I had totally forgotten he was doing the MAD thing today. Inadvertently, I ended up participating anyway by sewing for the past 10 hours >.< It's almost finished, though! I just need to fix the collar and then I can go prancing around in my new outfit!

In regards to your question, I don't write anymore so wasting time when I should be writing isn't all that much of a problem for me :-P In college, though, I would waste time doing more and more research on whatever I was supposed to be writing about until I realized that more research equaled less sleep. That right there was enough to keep me writing.

Maybe I should get back into writing so I don't leave forever-long posts people's journals :-P After I finish all my current sewing projects, of course.
Jul. 11th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)
My mother could hyperfocus on sewing like nobody's business, so I can totally see you doing a 10-hour sewing project!

Sounds like you gave up writing and I gave up hoarding sewing supplies that made me feel guilty for not sewing.
Jul. 10th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
You go with your over-achieving self. Don't strain your eyes, though. How long ago did you get the surgery?
Jul. 11th, 2011 07:04 am (UTC)
I had it Thursday morning. I was starting to get a little antsy from not-writing :-)
Jul. 11th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
I have a tendency to waste time checking my emails, so I now take my laptop to my parents house and sit in the spare room where there's no wifi access. If I can't get online and am in an environment where there are no other distracting tasks needing doing, I'm amazed at how much I can get written in a short space of time. I don't think I'll ever be one of those writers who manages 5k a day, but I can do 2.5-3k in a morning. After that I need to rest my brain!
Jul. 11th, 2011 07:09 am (UTC)
I'm hearing "email" as a distraction a lot. I think there's something about the possibility of anything at all being in there that makes it so irresistible. Yeah, it could be something dumb, but what if it's not? What if it's important?

Same as you, I find once I hit the 2.5-3k mark, my brain says it's done. If that's after I've been working 10 hours, I get it. But if it's still pretty early, I wonder how much of that is my perception of how much I'm capable of? I wonder if not-checking word count and really focusing on "what needs to happen next" and letting it rip would result in a higher count? I'll have to play with turning off word count...but that would result in chapters being all different lengths, which maybe I'm not OK with, because chapter length and pacing are important to having a certain kind of reading experience. Maybe I need to think it's possible that I am a 5k/day writer and I just don't know it yet.
Jul. 11th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
Good point - what we tell ourselves we're capable of tends to become a self fulfilling prophecy. I'm going to tell myself I can write more in future (and become a NYT bestseller - LOL)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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