The first thing to learn in the writing journey is that not all writing is the same. There are several types or stages of writing, and each of them requires a certain mindset and set of skills to accomplish them. And just because you’re good at one type of writing, doesn’t make you good at the other types, and making the transitions to each can be difficult to accomplish or there might be difficulty in determining when to make the transition.
This is the kind of writing most people assume writers do (but in reality it’s just the first step in a larger process). It’s the fun stuff. The part were you let everything just explode out of your head and onto the page. It’s an everything goes kind of thing where no idea is a bad idea and anything can happen. It can be a most uplifting experience, especially if you’ve done a lot of thinking about the story before ever placing pen to paper. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It’s where that thing called a writer’s high happens, and it’s a great place to be!
This writing stage doesn’t require a whole lot of special knowledge. Just an idea of what makes a good story, what makes compelling characters, and how to write a beginning, middle and end of a story. Much of this can be learned simply by being an avid reader, or taking some writing workshops on story structure and character development.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I have this problem in a terrible way every single year. I call it the January Blues. Some call it a bad case of writer’s block, but its more than writer’s block. It’s a mental jam and physical debilitation that leaves me with no motivation whatsoever. I always tell myself it won’t happen next year, and then next year arrives and guess what? Yep. Never fails. It really starts in December and sometimes even overlaps to February, but I spend weeks (months even) in a terrible writing funk. It usually ends up being my least productive time of the year, and it’s infuriating. Sound familiar?
What causes this state of “January Blues”? It’s a combination of weather, shorter days, getting less sunlight, getting over the stressing holidays, changes in diet, changes in sleep patterns, new year goals (some that even might be unrealistic), ect. It’s a state of depression that’s hard to break without a little extra help. People from all walks of life get it, but it can be crippling for those in the creative profession.
Procrastination plagues all writers at one time or another in the writing journey. It’s a barrier that must be broken through to be a writer, and separates the casual writer from the real writers. Procrastination a tricky beast that takes on the face of many problems like writer’s block, the missing muse, the “I don’t have time to write” excuse, or how about the “I can’t write, because I’m just not that good at it anyways.”
Say what!? That stuff isn’t procrastination. No. No. No. Those things are real problems. Really they are. Aren’t they?