Jun 13, 2011

Six of One, Half dozen of the Other?

By Tracy Astle

So...I'm supposed to be using all the time I have on my hands while I recuperate from surgery to write a rough draft of my next novel, right? Well, it's been two weeks now and this is how much I've written of my intended project - Not. One. Word.


I am generally a very self-disciplined person, so I wasn't too concerned about not feeling the excitement of digging into this project. I figured I would simply make myself start and once I got into it, the juices would start flowing.       Not.      I've done lots of things to try to make it happen, but I'm just not feeling it.

Then one day as I sat trying to work on that project I let my mind wander to another book I want to write and guess what happened. My muse decided to drop by. Things are starting to roll now. I'm feeling it. I've decided to let the other novel wait and focus on this one.

Tell me - how do you write? Are you a Push Througher who makes yourself sit down and write no matter what? Or are you a Put It Asider who gets more done by knowing when to let some things rest? Or maybe you're a combination of the two?


  1. I find that I think about what I'm going to write all day until I finally get a chance to sit down and write and then suddenly I'm distracted. Very frustrated. I try to push through though. Sometimes I'm more successful than others.

  2. I push through, for the most part. But, when things get really crazy busy at home, my writing definitely gets pushed to the side. I try to work on at least a little bit every day, whether it's writing, editing, or blogging, some kind of writing needs to occur to keep me on track.

  3. Two years ago I had a total knee replacement, followed four weeks later by the second total knee replacement, and all that anesthesia really did a number on my brain. It was a couple of months before I could really feel it functioning again. Mostly when I write I have to get into the "zone" with the characters. Nothing happens until they start speaking to me. Very often I use music to get to that level of concentration. When I'm working on a project, I select a piece of classical music that fits the mood and theme of the book, which shuts out distractions and burrows into my brain and stimulates the part that makes words come out of my fingertips on the keyboard. It's hard for me to push through without a written outline. I can't write just because I'm staring at the computer screen. Of course, I'm retired so I don't have a job or big family responsibilities to distract me. That helps a lot.

  4. Pam, you make me feel so much better. This is the first time I've been under anethesia and it seems to have played with my brain more than I thought it would.

    I am right with you on what you said about the characters speaking to you and how music can help, too.

    Thanks for you comments Donna, Kaylee and Susan. On my first book I was a push througher. I think that's
    more my natural preference. Just not at this moment.

  5. I'm a put asider--and I really wish I was more of a push througher. Maybe I'm just a push over?

  6. I just try to write whatever something every day but then I'm not shooting for a novel.

  7. I try to write a little every day, but I find I have to set a deadline for myself and push through in order to actually complete anything. Oh...and that anesthesia thing...drink lots of water. The toxins can stay in your body for months and continued to mess with your head.

  8. I usually put it aside and let things simmer in my brain for a while and then block out one day a week to write it all down as far as I can go. I have been trying this week to be a "push it out each day" kind of person but am feeling like a failure when I don't get it done. I have been cleaning kid-vomit though, so I have a valid excuse.


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