I was at a party last night and a friend asked me how the writing was coming along. “Well,” I said, “I haven’t done much writing recently because I’m very busy at the moment and I haven’t had the time.”
“I’m pretty sure you said that last year, too,” he replied.
And you know what? I think he’s right.
I can’t remember the last time I wrote a short story. Every time I think about writing fiction, my head immediately fills with reasons why I can’t write that particular piece: I don’t know enough about the subject, I can’t imagine how that character would think or feel or speak, my writing skills just aren’t good enough to pull it off.
This year I resolved to finish the novel I was working on for NaNo 2008. I decided to write a little each morning before work. Most mornings when my alarm goes off I snooze it and only get up when there’s just enough time left to get dressed and get out the door.
When I was doing shift work, I showed up on time for work at 7am every morning without fail.* I never ever snoozed the alarm clock. Why can’t I show up at my desk at 8am every morning to start writing? It’s less than a minute’s commute from my bed. I think it’s because no one is expecting me to be there. No one is expecting anything from me, writing wise.
The way to cure my general lack of motivation, I think, is to set myself some writing challenges. I really enjoyed writing that New Year’s haiku so I’ve decided that for next Sunday I will write a spring haiku. I think it will be easier to get out of bed that little bit earlier in the morning to write if I have a specific, short term writing goal. Also, writing a haiku seems a lot less off putting than writing a short story or a bit of a novel. I don’t have to worry so much about whether I can do a good job of it because I’m just doing it for fun, not with any hopes of publishing it.
So, next Sunday, expect one spring haiku from me. Would anyone like to join me in the challenge and post their own spring haiku, either in the comments box or on their own blog? Go on, you know you want to 😉
*There was one occasion when I slept in because my alarm didn’t go off. I dropped my phone and the battery fell out and when I put it back in and reset the time, I didn’t realise that I also had to reset the alarm. Doh!