06 May 2013

Procrastination? Who knows?


Jan Grape by Jan Grape

Desktop computer acting up. Laptop acting up. Difficult to write an article on my mobile phone. Still fighting sinus infection, coughing & blowing a whole lot. So am I procrastinating or fighting the fear of writing? Who knows? The thing is my blog article is due to be posted tonight. So I sit down at the laptop and although it's acting up, I think I can write something noteworthy. Who knows?

I have a good dozen books on writing on my bookshelf. Before I moved into my RV and began traveling full-time I had many more books on writing. Most of them were helpful but I was short on book space in my RV so donated most of them to a library. I only kept a few and I'm not sure even now if I kept the best ones. Do books on writing really help? Who knows? I just know I feel better knowing I have those books nearby if I need them. How To Write Mysteries. How To Write Thrillers , Writing Techniques, From Print-out To Published, Courage To Write. Titles similar to these are helpful at times. I remember many years ago when I finally decided that I wanted to write a mystery, I went to the library and checked out a book on writing and one on how to find an agent.

Both books were helpful. I quickly learned that no matter how much I wanted to write a mystery, I honestly had no idea how to write one. I read that first book, went back to the library and checked out 3 or 4 more. I learned a lot. But one major thing I learned was that no one else can write the book for you. You have to sit your behind the chair and write. Back in those days people didn't have computers. I bought an electric typewriter. I actually wrote in long-hand on a yellow legal pad and transferred it to typewritten page when I thought it was in good shape.

The major thing I learned from how-to books is my books or stories won't write themselves. I have to sit down to the computer and write, write, write. Find excuses not to write, if you want but still you have to write.

And who knows? Despite this being somewhat short, I did managed to finish this article in spite of my named reasons to procrastinate.

5 comments:

Robert Lopresti said...

I know. And i enjoyed it. Good luck with your sinuses.

David Edgerley Gates said...

How-to books may or may not help with the nuts and bolts, but they're good for your morale. Larry Block wrote one many long years ago that gave me some confidence in what I was doing, and the same could be said for Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD. Then again, as Fran says, they don't do the wiring for you, LOL.

Robert Lopresti said...

David brings up a good point. I say that it takes two parts of the brain to write: the miner and the jeweler. The miner digs ideas up for you and you can't control him, but you can INFLUENCE him, and one way to do that is to show him you are serious. That can mean reading books on writing, going to workshops and conferences, etc. It really does help. Me, anyway.

Herschel Cozine said...

Jan, I got a kick out of your description of writing before computers. Legal pads, conversion to type, (with carbon paper), revision, which meant typing it all over again. More carbon paper. Dirty hands. Dirty typewriter keys. Ah yes. The good old days.

Leigh Lundin said...

I'm glad you soldiered through, Jan! Good advice!