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February 21, 2011


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One of the writers in my local RWA wrote her first book on lunch breaks during work. Page by page, handwritten, then typed at night... It's all about how much you want it and whether you can rise above the fear and doubt.

Doesn't mean I don't use the excuses myself, but some days are good days, some are great days, some just pitter about!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, good for her! I did something similar, and it helps to keep the day job from being too boring. LOL

And you're exactly right about the different kinds of days we have. Just have to keep mixing them around until we get more of the goods and greats. :)


wow - what a great post and it's so true. you have to really want it but you have to know that it's not always easy either. some days it is effortless, but sometimes (most lol) it is sooooo hard. as long as the good overpowers the bad, then it's all good...

Donna Cummings

Jenn, you're right -- it's not always easy, and I think we can stop ourselves when we focus on that. Of course, I'm not feeling too great today, so I'm having a hard time following my own pep talk. LOL I can do a sentence, though, and then maybe another. . . :)

Terri Osburn

It's momentum for me. Writing is the boulder I'm pushing up a hill and if I don't keep it moving, it's nearly impossible to get it to budge again. Thankfully, the more I get done, the more things keep rolling. There are no guarantees life won't throw obstacles in my way (again) in the future, but for now, I have no excuses but to keep going.

At some point, my brain switched from "This is too hard!" to "This is kind of fun!" I'm trying to cement the switch in that position. LOL!

Donna Cummings

That is so true, Terri, about momentum. It can make the hard things seem a little less difficult, and give you inspiration for how much you've accomplished.

I love the brain switch--that's how it should be, and too often we completely forget that!


Shangri La was a valley.

Surely the trick is to let the boulder roll down hill.
Your job is then to make sure its heading for the right valley! LOL

If the day job is really exciting, then your characters can join in.
Makes life that bit more enjoyable and harmonious. *smile*

Kris Yankee

I choose to write today, as well Donna. Not because I told GDC that I'd have a chunk done before I spoke with her later this week, but it was time. I've spent too much of my time lately avoiding this manuscript. Work, the house, the kids, my husband, oh so many things to do instead of writing. But why?

Sometimes I feel like writing has chosen me. I used to have a "regular" job in a highly stressful situation. I chose to leave it to raise my kids. But there was something nagging me and it was the writing. Ever since I succumbed to the idea of it, writing has taken over. Slowly at first. But once I let it flow in my blood, that was it. I was hooked and there was no way I'd be stopping. Maybe for small periods of time, but I always find my way back.

I know I sound strange right now, but that's how I feel when I'm writing. It's not about me; it's about the writing.

Thanks for the post. It hit home with me. :)

Donna Cummings

Quantum, I like the way you think! Sometimes writing can feel like ShangriLa, although it's been rare for my day job to feel that way (okay, it did on payday!) I like the thought of the characters joining in though. :)

Donna Cummings

Kris, you do NOT sound strange! In fact, you gave me goosebumps because that's exactly how I feel, and it's delightful to hear someone else say they feel the same way I do.

There are days when I wish writing hadn't chosen me. LOL But I can't imagine being any other way. It's what I do, it's what I am, and I'm enthralled with the stories that emerge as a result of writing choosing me. :)

Good luck with your writing today!

Liz Lipperman

Boy have you been reading my mail. As I mentioned on my blog, I am a crisis junkie and do my best work under pressure. So here I am under pressure again with a deadline and writing my cute little butt off.

I need to do it one day at a time!! I'm geting too old for this crap!~!

Donna Cummings

Liz, this pep talk was as much for ME as anyone else. LOL I know what you mean about doing your best work under pressure. It narrows your focus to where it needs to be. Unfortunately it makes my stomach unhappy to be turned into a pretzel, so it's begging me to do this in a more orderly fashion. Who will be the ultimate winner? LOL

Kari Marie

Writing as choice - I believe hit the nail on the head. I had trouble in the middle of my book and although it was aggravating I chose to write everyday, even if it was only 10 words. I got through it eventually and I'm so happy I did.

Donna Cummings

Kari Marie, sounds like you really have this working for you. :) There's a lot to be said for just pushing through, a few words at a time. It's always better than zero words!


Wonderful post, goes right to the heart of it all - thank you!

Donna Cummings

I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Liz Fichera

I read a writer say once that you should write every day, even if it's a handful (or several hundred) crappy words. The point is to keep moving forward.

Donna Cummings

Liz, I've heard several writers lately on deadline who have to come up with big word counts in short timeframes and it sounds awful. LOL So a little each day seems a lot more workable.

Michelle Helliwell

Donna - great post. I make a commitment to 30 minutes a day. It doesn't sound like much, but I figured if I tried to schedule more, I would look at my evening and say "I don't have time for an hour, so I won't bother." And once I sat there, lo and behold, I'm there 45 minutes, an hour, maybe longer! Now it's a habit. And a promise I make to myself that is worth keeping. I wrote a 100K book that way. So it's possible. I don't go by wordcount. Just time. Amazing some evenings what you can get done in that 30 minutes.

Donna Cummings

Michelle, I think that is a wonderful strategy! I have a tendency to think in terms of word count, but I think you're right -- if you say 30 minutes, you get caught up in what you're doing, and then you end up writing more than you'd planned. And making it a habit is so important. You don't want to break the streak you've got going. :)

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