Writer's Procrastination - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-30-2006, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I really need some encouragement. I am currently doing a mail order course on writing for children and teenagers. I usually love to write but for some reason, I have been procrastinating in writing my next assignment. How do you motivate yourselves when you get in this type of rut? The assignment is about developing the setting using sensory descriptions. It is to be as close to 500 words without going over and I just can't get myself to write the piece.

Any suggestions you have to help motivate me? I already postponed it once, it is due June 9th.

Thanks for any help.
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#2 of 15 Old 05-30-2006, 09:45 PM
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Set a timer while the kids are napping, or get someone to watch the kids for a set period of time. You are not allowed to do housework or anything else except write during that time.

I try to write while my DS is in the next room with his speech therapist or occupational therapist -- 45 minutes at a time. Of course, I also use that time to pay bills and daydream about baby names. I'm currently procrastinating an essay about play therapy that I promised to someone...I have a great intro paragraph and the perfect conclusion, but just doodles for the middle, LOL.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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#3 of 15 Old 05-30-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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I think you can write through it. Try writing about anything and nothing, journal, or just write about the fact that you are procrastinating...maybe bring up memories of other times you put things off, even as a child. Just writing will help you get in the groove. Try describing the room you're in without telling anyone anything, use descriptions, use all five (or six) senses.

I'm going through a similar thing and that is what I'm doing, I trust that it will get me through this slump. You can do it

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#4 of 15 Old 05-31-2006, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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or just write about the fact that you are procrastinating
I never thought about doing that. I think that may be useful. What I also need to do is keep some paper and pen arms reach of where I sit with ds while he naps. That's when I feel motivated a little and then I think "oi vey, I forgot the paper in the room and now I can't get up." Ds naps [B]on/B] and nurses through it. I tried typing out my first draft but it is not the same thing for me as actually writing it.

Tonight, I'm going to place some paper here, actually as soon as he wakes up I'll do it. And then tonight, while I'm putting him down for bed, I'm gonna try to just write about how I'm procrastinating. And then see how that goes. I have to have this completed by this weekend so I can give myself a day or two to revise before June 9th.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-31-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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You seem to have found a way forward that appeals to you. What came to me when I read your topic was the Thesaurus.

Sometimes when I'm blank I just find all the words - or even the kinds of words that I want to use. Then later, through the process of black hat thinking, the words become sentences that just come to me and I write them down. Once I have hit a certain threshold of inspirative sentences, the rest of it writes itself.
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#6 of 15 Old 05-31-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessDoll
I never thought about doing that. I think that may be useful. What I also need to do is keep some paper and pen arms reach of where I sit with ds while he naps. That's when I feel motivated a little and then I think "oi vey, I forgot the paper in the room and now I can't get up." Ds naps [B]on/B] and nurses through it. I tried typing out my first draft but it is not the same thing for me as actually writing it.

Tonight, I'm going to place some paper here, actually as soon as he wakes up I'll do it. And then tonight, while I'm putting him down for bed, I'm gonna try to just write about how I'm procrastinating. And then see how that goes. I have to have this completed by this weekend so I can give myself a day or two to revise before June 9th.

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#7 of 15 Old 06-01-2006, 02:28 AM
 
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thanks mamas-I'm procrastinating too. I even procrastinated coming to this thread. How bad is that?

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#8 of 15 Old 06-03-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babibelli
thanks mamas-I'm procrastinating too. I even procrastinated coming to this thread. How bad is that?
:

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#9 of 15 Old 06-03-2006, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I actually wrote something today but I don't like it. I want to discard it. It was supposed to be a piece focusing on the setting but I brought the characters too much into focus (I chose the setting to be an ice skating rink on a Friday night).

Argh....I have to send this off by the end of the week!
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#10 of 15 Old 06-03-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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OK, don't discard it, I'm sure you put alot of work into it if you're not happy with it, try re-writing it. Think of the setting, feel yourself there and ~using all of the senses~ tear into it. The key is in representing all of the senses and using specific terms instead of general ones...ex/ crimson instead of red, etc.

I know you can do it slow down also, try to be as lushful and descriptive as possible in your setting.

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#11 of 15 Old 06-03-2006, 11:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PrincessDoll
I brought the characters too much into focus (I chose the setting to be an ice skating rink on a Friday night).
So, can you convey a setting through the way it impacts the characters? ex/ goosebumps on flesh, the breeze of skaters whizzing by as felt by a character?

What about...the distorted speakers playing the 'hokey pokey' to learning skaters
The sound of ice shaving under braking skaters,
the scent of stale fries and hotdogs and flat beer
The way the lights go from flourescent and bright, to dim with a disco-ball sending tiny pinpricks of light when the music slows (maybe that could be the 'last skate' of the night.


I'm trying to put myself there (am i dating myself? )

~~Kelly

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#12 of 15 Old 06-03-2006, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, as soon as I type it up I'm going to post it to get a feel of your reactions. I didn't use any dialogue and just spoke through the character's "sensations" of what was happening. The assignment asked for us to choose a setting from childhood, I went with my first kiss setting which was at a skating rink. My other choice was to write something scary (I used to live close by to a rundown abandoned mental institution). Thought that might be too much for an 11,12 year old market.

*sigh* You really think I shouldn't discard it?
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#13 of 15 Old 06-03-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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Never discard your writing, what may not be right for this assignment may be a jump off point for another piece

I'd love to read ...post away, I'll bet it is better than you think, and we could all give constructive feedback

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#14 of 15 Old 06-07-2006, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I cupped my gloved hands over my cheeks to bring life back to them. It was no use, they were numb from the bitter, winter air. It felt like I had been standing in line for hours. Krista was excitedly telling us about her new crush on Michael who was coming tonight with his friends. All around me stood young girls and boys in the latest fashions from Abercrombie & Fitch. Scents of vanilla and jasmine filled the air. We finally arrived at the ticket window. I could barely feel my fingers as I reached into my pink purse for my money.

As we stepped inside the anticipation intensified. Loud talking and laughing could be heard in all directions as clusters of boys and girls greeted familiar faces. My fingers and cheeks were getting tingly now as the blood flowed once again. As I took off my jacket, I casually glanced at my outfit. The sparkly pink skirt flowed gently around my legs. The hem of the skirt looked like the bottom of a fairy’s dress. The matching top had two layers - underneath the sheer, sparkly pink shirt was a solid white shirt that read “Flirtatious” in pink rhinestones. The way the other girls were staring at me, I knew that my outfit was a good choice. I sat on the bench with a feeling of satisfaction as I tied up my ice skates.
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#15 of 15 Old 06-08-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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I like it - I've never in my life been ice-skating but I get a feel for the environment you describe.

My only suggestion is to look at some of your descriptions and find a more novel way to express them. eg, "It felt like I'd been standing in line for hours." is pretty lacklustre but perhaps something like. "The line moved in slow motion, so it seemed." gives the reader a more graphic image of how it felt to wait. Don't be afraid to take a bit of license with the story. You don't have to be true to your original experience.
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