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Tuesday Ten: Signs You’re Not Writing Enough

Cheryl's Musings: Tuesday Ten: Signs You’re Not Writing Enough

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

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Tuesday Ten: Signs You’re Not Writing Enough

Since Friday’s post challenged you to take yourself seriously as a writer—by investing time, money, and energy on your career—this week’s list offers a list of signs that you aren’t spending enough time on your writing life.

Gilles Gonthier

And because I think quizzes are fun, I’ve included a the test-yourself component. Pick the answers that best it your situation—and feel free to use these oh-so-scientific results to support your Writing Diagnosis!

1. Daydreaming about plot problems is seriously impacting your ability to function in daily activities.

  A: Ouch, don’t let my significant other see this—totally me! 
  B: Occasionally, but I’ve got it under control.
  C: Daydreaming? What’s that?

2. You have trouble falling asleep—because you can’t get characters, dialog, or plot twists out of your head.

  A: Yeah, this happens all the time, but I’m too exhausted to do anything about it.
  B: This happens every once in a while—and when it does, I grab my handy pen, notebook, and flashlight to take notes. 
  C: I’m so busy that I'm out the second my head hits the pillow!

3. If you do fall asleep, your current work-in-progress tends to highjack your dreams.

  A: Most nights 
  B: Occasionally
  C: Never

4. You’re irritable and have trouble focusing (more than usual).

  A: Yep
  B: Not really. Ask my friends, they’ll tell you!
  C: No more than usual…I don’t think, anyway. Don’t talk to my significant other, okay?

5. You compulsively fill scraps of paper with story notes and/or your skin is decorated with plot inspirations you can’t forget.

  A: This is me, and my pile of story notes is definitely getting out of control. 
  B: I have story ideas scattered around my living and workspace, but compulsive is a bit strong.
  C: Nope, not me

6. The sight of a walk-in closet triggers the overwhelming desire to hide inside with pen and paper.

  A: YES!!! GIVE ME CLOSET!! AND COOKIES!
  B: Not really—I’d rather write someplace with a little more atmosphere. 
  C: Um, are you serious?

7. In the past week, you’ve burned dinner while distracted by story.

  A: Shh…my kid/significant other thinks grilled cheese sandwiches are supposed to be black on the outside.
  B: This happened last year a couple of times, but not last week. 
  C: I haven’t had time to cook dinner in weeks.

8. Your conversations with coworkers are plagued by awkward pauses—because someone asked you a question but your head was in story-land.

  A: Yeah, this happens to me—except with the ones who’ve stopped trying to hold meaningful discussions with me. 
  B: This happens once in a while, but it’s not a problem. We just laugh and move on.
  C: No, my conversations with coworkers are entirely goal-oriented and mission-focused. I don’t have time to waste.

9. You can’t remember the last time you had a kick-butt writing session.

  A: Yes, I can! I think it was…no, wait…
  B: Oh, yeah—it was awesome! 
  C: Of course I can. It was just last month.

10. You can’t remember the last time you had a manuscript to give to your critique group.

  A: Let me check my email. I know it was in the year or two. Or three… 
  B: Um, sometime in the last couple of months, maybe? 
  C: I haven’t had time to get anything polished enough for group, but it’s on my to-do list.

How did you do?

Mostly A’s: You have plenty of creative inspiration but insufficient time to do anything about it! The result: you’re showing clear signs of writing withdrawal. Administer a healthy dose of writing time ASAP.

Mostly B’s: You’re doing a pretty good job of balancing your input and output: your creative engines are running smoothly and although you have occasional buildup of creative pressure, you do your best to administer extra doses of writing time when needed. Keep it up!

Mostly C’s: You’re working hard and getting things done—but you’re also showing some signs of burnout. Administer frequent doses of fun, rest, and time off to avoid creative burnout.

What do you think? Is it time to indulge yourself with a bit of extra time with pen and notebook?

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5 Comments:

At September 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM , Blogger TL Conway said...

Another sign that you're not writing enough? When you read this post and look away, already knowing better than to take the quiz because you HAVEN'T been writing much at all.

I need to fix this. I need to make a schedule.

 
At September 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Ha! No kidding! I'm happy to say that--for the first time in a while--I put MY writing first this morning. And I'm much happier for it!

 
At September 20, 2011 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Margo Berendsen said...

This was fun! I'm borderline A/B. I'm beginning to brainstorm for NaNoWriMo this November - so I have had a few awkward pauses in conversation while I mentally register an idea!

 
At September 21, 2011 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Kerri Cuev said...

Phew, mostly B's. I was scared for a moment and almost made a dash to the closet with a pen and paper lol. That was a fun quiz!

 
At September 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hee hee :). When I was a kid, the walk-in closet in my shared bedroom was my special place--including pillows, plot outlines, and a pie chart of the seven kingdoms of my current fantasy world. Very peaceful!

 

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