I have saved on my jump drive several short stories and a few drafts of a few chapters of a novel that I’ve been playing around with for 25 years. 25 years. I’m probably never going to get it done, but I can’t bring myself to delete these drafts. I’m not very good at following through with these things, even though I claim to love writing. Last year, I started off strong in a short story challenge. Write 12 short stories in 12 months, and for the first five months I nailed it. I’m not sure what happened in June. Or July. I’m sure I forgot about it by August. I think a couple of those stories are pretty good, and a couple of them are pretty bad. The bottom line, though, is I didn’t stick with it all year.
I buy books about writing, and for a while I put some of their guidance to work. I used to listen to the Writing Excuses podcast in my car, and get pumped up…until I sit down at the computer. Then I get distracted by Facebook or baseball cards or Twitter or my “real” job. I eventually gave up on listening to the podcast, as I never actually put any of the advice into practice.
Bottom line: I have a problem with motivation.
I want to write, but I just don’t do it. I need to change this. I need to set aside some time to write, to really focus on my novel idea, because until I get this two-and-a-half decade idea down on paper, I’ll never move on from it. It will always be a weight around my neck, a burden that prevents me from getting on with other ideas.
I don’t know if it will help, but I discovered a new resource by Crawford Kilian tonight. Kilian used to blog at “Writing Fiction” frequently, but like most blogs, the new posts started to tail off. A new post appears every once in a while, but it’s just not the same. However, early last year, he did offer a free resource: “Write a Novel,” an 18-lesson course for aspiring writers. While I don’t have the time to sit down and start it right away, I plan to go through the course in the coming months.
I also plan to start listening to the Writing Excuses podcast again. They have some great ideas. Who knows, maybe 2019 will finally be the year my characters come to life on the page they way they live in my mind.