Prompt Time April 11

Sometimes, life gets in the way of our writing. Some days, it’s all we can do to write a sentence. We have friends, lovers, families that all expect something from us. We are human, and like all other humans, sometimes our bodies break down and make it more difficult to focus on anything, let alone our writing.

Most of us also have day jobs or school to deal with, and how much time we have to devote to these things can vary from week to week.

Today I’d like you to do some introspection. Rather than discovering your characters, today I’d like you to discover yourself. And rather than prose, today I’d like you to make a list. A list that, I hope, will help you re-examine your life and find more time for writing.

Make a list of all the things that stop you from writing.

My first three:

1. School–This is the biggest time suck I’m dealing with right now. Not only am I expected to spend something like six hours a day on the premises, I’m expected to take work home with me and do it there. It’s frustrating, but, like the day jobs many of you hold, it’s something I have to do. I’d love to spend my whole day writing, every day, but I expect that after I graduate I’ll have to find one of those day jobs too. It’s a shame.

2. Friends–I have a lot of friends. Actually, I have a ridiculous number of friends. I have enough friends that I can barely keep track of them. Most of them don’t interfere with my writing time too much, but the sheer number of people I’m expected to keep in touch with take up quite a bit of time. I’m also the kind of person that will go to great lengths to help a friend–and sometimes I have to remind myself that my writing is at least as important as my friendships.

3. Email–No, seriously. I mean, most of my email is writing-related, but there’s just so much of it. I’m not even famous and I get about a hundred emails a day. I don’t read them all, but it still takes me an hour and a half to get through them. The amount of time I’ll have to devote to email when I actually do get famous is terrifying.

What stops you from writing? Please share your first three obstacles to writing in the comments.

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About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on May 11, 2012, in Prompts, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Yeah, email’s a big distraction. I’ve had to allot myself a certain amount of time each day (right now I’m using half an hour), and at the end of that time just shut it down, even if messages are left unanswered (most are not that urgent). But it’s still hard not to go back to the email later in the day, just to check…

    Two more things that stop me from writing: fatigue and doubt. They can be quite crippling sometimes, and I think one is connected with the other.

    Nice post! It’s important to be aware of the blocks in order to start dealing with them. Good luck!

    • Hi Andrew,

      Email’s definitely a big time suck. I haven’t put a strict time limit on my time spent checking email because I like to check it several times a day so I can read through smaller chunks of email, but maybe I should.

      Fatigue and doubt are terrible writing blocks. They make it hard to want to do anything, let alone write. There are two ways I’ve learned to deal with these things: either take a vacation and try something exciting and new to prove that you can, or write on anyway. There’s no magical cure, but those usually help with the writer’s block part of fatigue and doubt.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      ~Dianna

  2. I spend so much time reading other people’s blogs, there’s not much time left for writing 😦 but we all want to be read, just have to find that balance. Write some/read some/write some more 🙂

    • Yellowlancer,

      Welcome to Dianna’s Writing Den!

      It’s always hard to find a balance, and I used to read so many blogs I barely wrote myself. Eventually I realized that in order to become more than just a hobbyist writer, I needed to spend more time writing. I still haven’t found the perfect balance, but I’m always trying.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      ~Dianna

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