We've all done it—written articles for newsletters or writers' sites in an attempt to pass our knowledge on to others. Usually I can riff on any topic, throwing in comic relief here and there, making witty comments and ancedotes. This week I wrote an article for my local chapter's newsletter and had probably one of the most difficult times writing a non-fiction article I've ever had.
What's up with that?
It was only a 400-500 word article, so not very long, but you'd think I had the total removal of all my teeth without anasthetic just to get the thing written. Why was it so hard? Why did I sit and stare at the keyboard and screen as if the blinking cursor mocked my every letter, space and punctuation. It was a completely painful experience. It wasn't mandatory or compulsory, but when you're a member of a group it's nice to participate. I generally enjoy writing the articles (this is I think the third or fourth I've written for the newsletter), but I really had a hard time.
Again, I ask why?
This exercise has made me appreciate those days when the words flow from me like gravy over mashed taters. The thing is, I totally enjoy balancing all the fiction I write with the occasional non-fiction. It's fun and can be just as creative as the short stories. However, it did make me want to rethink the way I do things. Or at least the way I limit my focus.
Often times, my thoughts are scattered, blowing in the breeze like so many fallen leaves. When I sit down at the computer I really attempt to center my thoughts and pump the work out. Usually, I'll go through periods where it's harder to produce than others—all writers go through times like that—but taking 3 days to write a 500 word article...a little ridiculous, even for a procrastinator like me. But I found myself staring at the screen...mind drifting...focus shifting...oompa music playing...Gilmore Girls blaring...
Now that the new year has come upon us, I need to reevaluate my time table and schedule for what I'm writing and when. I had thought to write a paranormal comedy for The Wild Rose Press' Halloween story deadline in January. Doesn't look like that is going to happen. Though I love the story I came up with and will eventually finish it, I think I need to stay on track with the other 3 novels I'm currently working on.
So, what does this have to do with that blasted article I wrote?
Glad you asked. It proves that sometimes we create our own havoc in our writing lives. That it doesn't matter what form my writing takes, detours are bound to occur.