Sunday, March 11, 2012

Using Blogs and Birthdays to Procrastinate

OK, so my sister's birthday is today and so I'm back at my mom's. Which means this blog post is pieced together gradually over the week. It also explains why this post is late. Sorry.

Anyway, moving on...

Ironically, I've been spending this week procrastinating any advancement to my story by instead spending my time reading articles on how to stop procrastinating when it comes to writing. Yup, I'm procrastinating by reading about how to end procrastination. God, I love irony...

Either way, I think I've picked up some good tips. Now to execute them! If this works, full credit for the fire under my butt goes to Ali Luke and her posts on Aliventures. The link to her blog is in the "Handy Links" section to the right.

The key thing I learned is that I'm using this blog as a way for me to rational that I'm still "writing weekly". I use this and beta-reading as ways to procrastinate and yet feel accomplished. This way I don't feel "guilty" about not working on my story more. Or I do things like write the birthday story for BrokenRose24 or the Valentine's story for ChibiSunnie or mentally draft up the plot for my Script Frenzy story. This way I still feel like I'm writing, I'm being creative, I'm stretching my wings. And yet, I'm not truly ACCOMPLISHING anything. I'm not really moving forward. I have this chapter all set, so I'm not really sure why I'm postponing it so much.

According to Ali's post How to Overcome Three Common Causes of Writing Procrastination - Today, Procrastination Cause #1 is Lack of Preparation. This is certainly not the case for me. I carefully skeleton everything out. If anything, I have too much detail. This is the main reason my latest chapter is getting it's own friggen spin-off story!
Procrastination Cause #2 is Too Many Projects. This could very well be the issue since I did JUST admit to using Aliventures blog reading, this blog's weekly updates, beta-reading, and working on other writing projects to procrastinate....
Procrastination Cause #3 is Feeling Afraid of Starting. This is usually caused by lack of confidence. I have to say, with all the positive feedback and love of my readers, I'm actually fairly confident in my writing. So I don't - at least consciously - believe THIS is the issue as well.
However, I AM still a bit weary about my long-windedness, and this chapter IS becoming as much of a beast as my latest Valentine's story. Perhaps the daunting task of writing this huge chapter, coupled with my concern for my excessive length in writing, is manifesting itself as this fear of starting. Or maybe it's because once I get started I just go. I can write for about eight hours straight and I hate stopping once I have the flow going. And with this chapter being as long as it is I could easily write for those eight hours straight. However, I can't really hide away for that long since I have tons of other stuff to also do. So perhaps I AM sort of afraid of starting because I'm afraid I won't be able to stop when I need to.
But let's backtrack to the fear of being long-winded, I do have to state that Chibi recently sent me a message dealing with my insecurities about my epic writings, and it super made me tear up.

ChibiSunnie: "Yeah, there's nothing wrong with being detailed! It's a super good thing! You provide just the right amount so there aren't any 'wait...what?' moments or 'UGH get to the point already!' moments. Just because you don't write short things does NOT mean you are a 'real' writer or a good writer. You are an AWESOME and WONDERFUL writer who powerfully captures emotions and makes fun scenarios that highlight the depth of the characters. Your style is the lengthy novel-like prose, and that's a great thing. You should be proud of it! You are a real writer and don't let anyone make you think otherwise! Again, I think your level of detail is perfect."
Oh... Em... Gee.... CHIIIIIIBIIIII!!!! See? This is the kind of support from my readers that gives me confidence. Man, I just love you all so much! No wonder I don't suffer self-doubt as much as other writers I know.

I've also felt a bit more validated due to Aliventures. Her most recent post is Nine Writing Milestones to Celebrate (and Aim For)
. Not only did the milestones themselves validate me, but so did Ali's quick response to my comment - both the fact that she responded so quickly and what she actually said.
Me: "I'm only up to milestone four, and that is only on FanFiction.net... So I haven't really branched out to original character's yet..."
Ali: "I don't think there's any 'only' about fanfiction... for my money, writing someone else's characters consistently and convincingly is a *hard* thing to do. (One of the reasons I don't writie fanfic is because I'm, at heart, lazy.)"

So, I guess, if nothing else, my procrastination this week truly taught me some valuable skills, as well as validated my writing.

Before I go I want to ask you - my readers - a quick series of questions....
Last week I stumbled upon a blog post entitled Why Your Blog is Like an Abandoned Amusement Park, and What You Can Do About it. Even though I am greatly appreciative of my readers and I'm amazed that even eight hits occur in the same hour, I was still curious as to what else I could do to improve upon my blog - as well as encourage comments here on Blogger. Well, the writer of that blog gave me my first ever comment here.

He stated "I find your layout hard to read. White background on a different type style might help your readers. Check other blogs for what they do with their layouts."

I feel that if I changed my format to how he suggested it would look incredibly plain, and yet I too had concerns about this layout when I switched it up this year. Any thoughts from my readers? Do you like this format? Is it hard to read? Should I try switching it up again? Should I abandon the scroll/parchment background and script-like font? This is for your benefit, so please let me know!

I would love to hear from you - and don't fret if you don't have an account with Blogger, I have Anonymous-Comments active. I just want to hear your thoughts, good or bad. Remember, any critiques help ME become a better writer/blogger for YOUR entertainment! Thank you!

Ok, well now it's time to eat some Chinese food and have some cake!

2 comments:

  1. It'sLikeWe'reRelated!March 18, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    I agree with the layout comment -- a simple black font on a white background is the way to go.

    As an example: I did a quick search for "best writing blogs" and found this list of the top ten blogs for writers: http://bit.ly/tUyDip
    Every blog on the list has simple black text on a white background.

    Don't worry about it being plain, just make sure it's very easily readable. Your personality comes through from your words, and you don't want anything to distract your readers from that.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the input. At first all of my readers were commenting on Facebook and DeviantArt about how they don't find my layout a problem at all. So I just assumed the last comment was simply a case of me asking someone "you see a problem" and them picking out the only thing they could think of. I am addressing this layout thing in my next blog post.
      Thank you for the link as well. I made sure to check them all out. I'm super happy you think my "personality comes through" and I hope you'll become a return reader.

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