Writer’s Block AKA Stubborn Procrastination

Hello, hello!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day or Excuse for Chocolate Day or whatever you want to call Thursday.  I have no plans, but I do have chocolate.  Huzzah!  Anyway, that’s tomorrow.  Today is about confessions of a writerly nature.  Namely, I haven’t done anything productive since January 20th (the day before the sickness of doom took over).  Yeah, I can blame the illness for about two weeks worth of laziness, but what about the last week and a half?  I had no excuse for vegging out.  So, I thought I would talk a little about what some people call writer’s block and my plan to deal with it.

This is true.

First off, I want to say that I don’t particularly like the term “writer’s block.”  It sounds like something that just happens, something you have no control over.  For some people, that might be true.  Other people might enjoy having the excuse, being able to say that their lack of writing time is out of their control.  Not me.  I fully acknowledge that when I’m not writing, I’m usually procrastinating.  It’s rare for me to run out of words, at least on fictional things.  Motivation is my biggest issue.  And sometimes, I admit that the procrastination bug digs deep and stubbornly refuses to let go.  It’s what’s happening right now.  My motivation is low due to an influx of rejections I’ve been expecting (because of my year-end submissions that are just now being looked at).  It’s hard to want to write and revise when you keep getting told “it’s not for us, but good luck elsewhere.”  So, when the opportunity to procrastinate presented itself, I didn’t bother fighting it.

However, it’s about time for me to get over myself and get back to writing regularly.  Before the sickness decided to knock out all my will to work, I was actually struggling back into a decent rhythm.  How?  I joined a sprint group and one of the leaders happens to write around the same time I do during the week (early evening).  So, I have the support of checking in after each sprint and being held accountable.  Even if the leaders aren’t doing sprints, I can still create my own sprints and see if anyone wants to join me.  It’s a super helpful group for me and I plan to get back into it this week.

I feel this on a deep level.

Aside from the sprint group, I need to find other forms of motivation as well, otherwise I know I’ll eventually fall back into the procrastination pit.  The problem is that I don’t respond well to self-appointed rewards.  Mostly because I usually forgo the rewards.  I promise myself anime or manga and by the time I get everything done, I’m either too lazy to find something to watch/read or it’s time for dinner and TV with Dad.  I guess all I can do is keep trying different things until I find something that works for me.

What about you?  How do you battle writer’s block or the procrastination bug?  Feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Achievement Unlocked!

Hello, hello!  So, as of Saturday (09/12), I finished a round of major revisions on Garnets and Guardians.  Huzzah!  What did I do to celebrate, you ask?  Well, I got a flu shot; a round of antibiotics for something completely unrelated, but blah inducing; and decided to take a few days off before working on another novel while this one is away with a trusty reader.  Yeah, I’m not an exciting person.

I had to for the flu shot.

Since this is one of my days off, this post is going to be short, so I can get back to laziness.  I just wanted to share my achievements with anyone who might be interested (a girl’s got to brag some times).  I posted once before about how rewards are necessary, and wanted to let you know that I’m following my own advice.  My lazy days have been filled with:

1. Music.  I’ve been kind of obsessed with James Blunt recently (don’t ask), but also getting back into stalking some J-rock bands.

Bonus points if you know who this man is!

2. Crossword puzzles.  You can blame Dad for that.  I usually do Mondays-Wednesdays of the syndicated NYTs puzzle, and I attempt Thursdays, but I’m behind on those.

3. Watching Charmed reruns on Netflix and catching up on Sailor Moon Crystal (no, I still haven’t finished).  P.S. I’m pretty sure all of your current favorite sci-fi/fantasy actors had bit parts in Charmed.  So many familiar faces. 

Misha Collins to Pheobe: “You must be an angel.” (Or something close to that.) 

Me: “No, you are.”


Anyway, I’m going back to vegging.  Next week, I will return with something more interesting to ramble about!  Until then.

On Incentives and Rewards

Hi again!  Since I finished the first draft of my novel last week (no, not an April fool’s joke!), I thought I’d talk a little bit about incentives and rewards in writing.  This all came about because a friend asked me what I was going to do to celebrate, and I had zero ideas.  Apparently a lot of people set up small rewards (or large ones for bigger feats) for each step they complete.  Of course I have a reward picked out for a challenge as big as my first pro pay publication, and I have my daily incentives, so why didn’t I have anything ready for something like finishing a draft?  It’s a big step.  It deserves to be celebrated!

canstock9633501So, I want to list some of my personal incentives for different occasions, and encourage you to create your own.

Daily Rewards: These usually include things that I would do whether or not I had daily goals to meet.  Watch anime, play games, eat a piece of chocolate.  Little things like that make the idea of sitting down to write more fun.  Think of it as a little paycheck each day!  It’s something to work for.

choc Finished Draft/Major Edits Rewards: These are major milestones for a writer.  I’m a little ashamed to know that I didn’t plan anything for my first one.  I did take the day after off, but that was nothing special.  Luckily, a friend invited me and my dad to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, so I’m calling that my reward.  I’m also making a list of potential days out for future reference.  These accomplishments are definitely worthy of a concert or movie or trip to a museum or arboretum or something.


Publication Rewards:  These should be something special.  I know some people who have parties or go on trips, and others who splurge on nice dinners.  A weekend getaway or fancy meal sounds wonderful to me.  Personally, I’m considering a tattoo for my first paying publication.  It’s something I’ve wanted for a while, but never really had the courage to go through with (I’m not too fond of needles).  Maybe getting published will be the special moment I need to push me forward with it.  If not, a fancy dinner and maybe some dancing works just as well as a reward!

Sakura Tattoo
By Stephanie Mindzak

I’m sure there are other accomplishments that need to be celebrated in a writer’s life, like being translated into another language, but I’m nowhere near that level yet.  When I get closer, I’ll be sure to think of incentives and rewards for those things as well.

Since a writer’s pay isn’t exactly regular, it’s good to come up with your list of awards ahead of time.  Not only as incentives to complete the difficult (sometimes eye twitch inducing) work, but also so you can save up for them.  And remember that the bigger the goal, the more special, and possibly personal, the reward should be.  It can be as simple as watching the sunrise or extravagant as a five star dinner.  That’s up to you.  Have fun with it!