If you ever read advice on writing, from anyone, they’ll tell you a key is to write every day. Every. Day.
It sounds really easy. Set a word goal and just write. 100 words, 500 words, 1000. That’s really not that many. There are websites like Written? Kitten! that even help you meet your goal. Seriously. Written kitten lets you set a goal, say 100 words, and every time you write 100 words it gives you a different picture of a kitten. It even saves your work for you (although if you use it I recommend copying and pasting into a word processor and saving it that way). There are also programs like Freedom and Scrivener that block you from the internet for a time. You can set the limit and it will disconnect you.
My problem is motivation, and I get easily distracted when not motivated. When I’m tired, or not feeling well, or bored, or just bleh, I have a hard time writing. I tried Written? Kitten! once, but found myself writing nonsense just to get to the goal and get a kitten. Then I just ended up Googling pictures of kittens. Which led to Googling pictures of other cute baby animals. Which led to random baby animals. Like a platypus. I mean, look at how weirdly cute:
Don’t you just want to hold it? FYI, a baby platypus is called a puggle. Baby opossums are also much cuter than one would immediately think.
Look at it. It’s like something from a Disney movie. (Speaking of which, my brother was a huge fan of “A Goofy Movie” as a kid. I mean huge. He watched it repeatedly. There’s one scene where Goofy and his son Max go to a tourist trap and it’s called the Opossum Palace or something like that. The emcee comes on the stage and says, “Who’s everyone’s favorite opossum?” and the kids yell, “Lester!” Ever since then I’ve called opossums Lesters. Coincidentally, my Evidence professor and trial team coach in law school’s last name was Lester. He was not a opossum).
See how easy it is to get off topic? Not to mention, as an animal lover, I could look at baby animals for ages!
I’m also a perfectionist. I tried writing something, anything, every day. Meet that word goal! But then what I wrote was utter crapola. I mean, bad. Advice you hear a lot is “just write and edit later” and “don’t self edit in your first draft!” I can’t do that. I mean, I can to a certain extent, but if I’m not feeling it, I end up deleting the entire thing.
I think I’ve gotten spoiled. When an idea takes hold and really takes root, it takes off. I get in the zone and next thing I know I’m at 10k. Now, I don’t know how to write when I’m not in the zone. I start and stop and write and delete and Google baby animals.
How do you stay motivated? Do you force yourself to write, even if you don’t like what you’re putting out? Do you take a break and do something else for a while? I would love to hear what keeps you going!
And, if you like more “normal” baby animals, here are couple of darn cute ones!