Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Consistency - How it Works

Gather right up, gather right up.
Right here, right now
Melly is about to reveal the secret.
The secret to consistency.
Gather right up...

Yeah, right, you wish! I wish!
But it's true. I've been asked, on more than one occasion and by more than one person, to "enlighten" (their words, not mine) them on consistency. What kind of system works to achieve consistent writing?

While most of those who had asked me about consistency related more to my blog, and while we all know that blog consistency and writing consistency are not one and the same, I guess that at least as far as my blog goes, I actually am pretty consistent. Okay, not when I'm traveling. But when I'm traveling I write a lot of my fiction. So there!

I have no idea what my system is. I don't think I have one.
Anyone who has been reading the last few posts about blogging habits and goals, knows that I tend to keep my mind working constantly, if it's about post ideas or story ideas. I constantly read fiction as well as daily news and science news. These readings give me even more ideas. I especially get a lot of ideas for my hard sci-fi stories from all those science articles I post here that almost no one ever reads.
Regardless, I keep all these ideas stored somewhere and when I feel like I'm blocked, I go through my notes and am reminded of my ideas.

But this only covers half of the problem of consistency - where to get ideas from. What about the other half of - how do you actually make yourself sit down and write?
The short answer is - I don't.
That is, I don't make myself, I just do.
Sure there are times I don't feel like it. Then I don't (usually, if no deadline).
Rest of the time it's not a problem.

So I'm not really sure what to say to those who want to make a career out of writing - fiction, non-fiction, blogging, whatever - but never feel like sitting and writing.

Two possibilities I see - the first, they haven't chosen the right writing for them. Let's say someone's blogging about gardening but she hates gardening. I'd recommend switching blog subject.
Let's say someone's writing sci-fi but has a real hard time with it. Then one day he tries romance, and pow, the words flow (and remember, he's a guy to boot).

The other option is that maybe, just maybe, writing isn't their thing. Maybe, just maybe, they got into writing because they thought it would be fun to sit at home and not going to work in an office or wherever. Well, guess what? There are other stay-at-home internet jobs. Perhaps they could be great eBay sellers?

So these are my two cents on the subjects. Any thoughts?

P.S. - I said the secret to consistency, not to getting published...
Read the rest

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Benjamin Solah said...

Damn! I thought you had the magical secret! LOL

Consistency has been a problem of mine for a while. I write in spurts. One week, I'm writing something every day, the next, nothing. Sometimes it's ideas, but mainly it's stress. I've found when the real world is giving you hell, you can't write because your mind is elsewhere. The trick is solve those problems or forget about them.

Jennifer said...

I especially get a lot of ideas for my hard sci-fi stories from all those science articles I post here that almost no one ever reads.

Sorry I have to chuckle. See with me I'm not a science person, so unless there's something specific that interest me I usually don't take the time to try and read and decipher.


Melly said...

Benjamin, so it's you who has the secret!
I'll make the formal annoncement later ;)
Seriously, you're absolutely right, only for a person who takes life lightly without too many issues, it isn't something that's on my mind, but you're so right.

Jennifer, we do all know who the culprits are. Admit it! You never ever ever read any of my science posts!
And you thought you'd get away with it...
Oh, you make me laugh :)

Flood said...

I have been trying to post here for 2 days. Stupid blogger.

Anyway, the great thing about consistency, outside of creating a habit, is how great you feel. It allows for less angst with regard to the creation. Plus, if you have a few things on the go, you aren't bashing your head about one project.

Elementary stuff, my points here, but it really helps me beat myself up less.

Melly said...

Flood, I've just waited about 4 hours to reply to you...

Your comments are far from elementary (dear watson :).
Having a few things on the go (while no too many) always makes me work on at least one.