I have been terribly neglectful of my blog of late, I cannot deny that. While I was in school, I blamed my workload for my rare posts, but I've been done for almost a year now and still have been uninspired to post. It's odd, really, as I love this blog and have been keeping it up, at one pace or another for over seven years now.
Part of the problem, I believe, is not being focussed enough. Since finishing school I've been caught up at work, both my official job at the library and my volunteer work at the local museum. My writing has suffered as a result, though I am making more of an effort these days. I think a lot of the reason for my lack of interest in the blog lately relates directly to spending 3 1/2 years meeting constant deadlines in school. Having to blog felt like another of those deadlines. However, now, I find I'm missing it.
My writing is at a crossroads of sorts. Part of me wants to keep working on the three unfinished mss I already have, yet another part wants to go in a completely different direction. Every time I think I might be able to abandon one of those mss, the characters protest and I come back to the. That tells me that really, I have to write their stories before I can move on.
The biggest obstacle, however, is the problem with my plotting. I've mentioned this over on Facebook - my sudden inability to clearly see the end of the story. A plotter by nature, I've learned that I have to have at least a general outline of the story before I can move to far with it. That doesn't mean I have things worked out scene by scene down to the last detail and won't deviate, but it does mean I need to have a specific final scene in my head. With my earlier mss, this was always the case - the scenes were there from very early on in the writing process. Yet now, it just doesn't happen. I can't tell if this means it's the wrong story, the wrong characters or just that my mind is now filled with so many other details, that I"m not able to focus on my writing.
I did work before, but I wasn't as involved with it as I am with my work at the library. Part of that revolves around my work with the public - I give a lot of myself during the day, so a lot of my energy that would go to my creative side gets drained. Also, at least while I was writing my first ms, I used the writing as an escape from a job I really didn't like much at all. That is not the case now. OTOH, every time I think maybe I should just forget about writing, my characters protest very loudly and draw me back into their worlds.
Learning to balance my work life with my writing life is something I have to work on. Unlike some of my writing friends, I cannot function in that capacity at 5 am - I wish I could, but I just can't. The most I can do just after 6 am is drag myself down to the elliptical trainer or my yoga mat. My brain has never engaged at that early an hour. So it's back to evenings again - something I had to do in school. I fooled myself into believing that I'd be so well trained from doing work at night that it would translate to my writing. No such luck - I found I was so relieved to NOT have to do work in the evenings, I only wanted to read or surf the web.
Now, however, I realize that I have little choice - my characters want their stories to be told and given that I have evenings relatively free, I have to dedicate at least some of that time to my writing. No excuses. Writing has been a part of my life for so long that I can't just give up on it now, especially when it's clear that the stories are still viable, given that my characters demand my attention.
I'm hoping that by blogging about writing related topics again, on a frequent basis, that I will keep myself more focussed on writing and begin to produce new work on a much more regular basis.
What about you? How do you stay foccussed on your work?