Challenge,  On Writing

May is Screaming Past

Time of Great Forgetting is in Full Force…

Amazing how every year at this time a vast majority of new fiction writers and early professional fiction writers just forget everything about their writing goals and ambitions.

Professional fiction writers and those writers working hard to get to that place do not have this trouble. But it happens every year to more than I can count.

About the last of April, the attention is drawn to other things besides writing and by now (end of May) writing has mostly been forgotten, or something to be done later. Spring is at hand and everything that means for each person.

This forgetting goes until the middle of July when suddenly it is hot and summer newness has worn off and months of almost no writing have gone past. Streaks are broken, word counts are down, and the writer is suddenly upset.

Restarting is super hard for anyone, and after this, restarting is seemingly impossible, so it takes until the middle of August and for many into the fall before the writing fiction becomes important again.

I started writing about this time period about twenty years ago when I first noticed it, and really wrote about it as the indie movement fired up and we did more workshops. This week for me will be simple on answering assignments because less than half of those signed up for every class turned something in.

And keep in mind there are always “reasons” that seem valid, and granted, some are. But most are not.

However, I have observed that the moment a writer decides they really want this and will make the sacrifices to get to their writing goals, this forgetting never happens again.

And it never happens to long-term professional fiction writers. We are seven days a week, 365 a year because we are doing what we love and what we used to go home from nasty day jobs to do.

So I hope you are not caught in this already this year. Still time to make corrections. Sure, it is nice outside the window, but having fun and playing in your own worlds inside your computer is pretty darned nice as well.

Keep it fun.



  • Kate Pavelle

    You speak true-true. Le sigh.

    Some observations and coping mechanisms for those of you similarly afflicted:
    – If you have a yard and just know it will go wild unless you take steps, write a list of short tasks. Do them between writing spurts. (Yes, this means dressing for both activities, as well as changing shoes at the door.)
    – Set a time or word-count daily goal.
    – Set a gardening time goal. Not a task goal, because tasks can take longer than expected.
    – If you use a fitness tracker, “functional training” is a good category for yard work. Take a moment to stretch afterward, including your forearms and wrists. Wear good gloves.
    – If you’re drawn outside so hard you can’t stand sitting still, park your butt outside! I write on both the front and the back porch, depending on how the light swings (screen glare.) This works well after dark as well if, mosquitoes permitting. I’ve finished many a story on the front porch after dinner, enjoying a quiet evening with my characters.

    Had it not been for my crazy challenge with Dean, I don’t think I’d have much to show for my word count this May. Even so I’m not nearly where I wanted to be. Considering shadowig this challege. It’s fun!

  • Heather Hatch

    *Lovely* motivation for me.
    Right now I am battling every myth that still matters to me- not that I want them to, but they do present their stiffest defenses against my current challenge, and in my current WMG class project.
    I am making headway…. slow headway….
    but the only time and place it gets fun, is on the other side AFTER I bust through, Every Day.
    Like medicine I don’t want to take, then feel so much better after I do.
    Time for another dose.

  • Rikki Mongoose

    For me it’s not forgetting at all. Yesterday, suffering from headache, I’ve completed a novel.

  • Kerry

    In my translation practice I find it is important to do some each day, even if only half a page. It is when I stop sitting down at all for a few days that the risk of stopping for a longer period becomes greater. If I’m in the habit of sitting down to it at least once a day, even if only for a short bit, it is so much easier to ramp things up when I have more drive.

    • Kate Pavelle

      Yes, this. I had a streak going but then family stuff came up this weekend. I didn’t write a word. On Monday, it felt horrible to be staring at two zeroes on my spreadsheet. I should’ve at least done a few hundred words. I’m back in the saddle, though!

  • Harold Goodman

    If you call yourself a writer then there is no excuse for not writing every single day.

    I have had days when I am so tired, worn out, my life gobbled up by every imaginable and some unimaginable thing.
    If it is 11:30 pm before I tumble into bed, I force myself to write.

    I am a sabbath observer and do not write or use the computer from Friday until Saturday evening. But when the three stars announce the end of the sabbath on Saturday night, I am at the keyboard, writing.

    My promise to myself is to write a minimum of 500 words a day. More if possible but minimum 500 words.

    It comes before I shower, before I eat breakfast, before anything except going to the bathroom and splashing cold water on my face when I get out of bed.
    It is non negotiable.
    Write 500 words minimum daily.
    Doing this, in the last few months, I have surpassed 100,000 words.
    And looking back at some of it, I am impressed not only with the content but that I have actually done this.
    I am 74 and now know what I am doing with the rest of my life.

  • Pur

    I wonder whether this is reversed in the southern hemisphere (assuming yes). It’s autumn-approaching-winter right now so no desire to be out, and life-rolls aside it’s a good time to pick up pace. Summer being over Christmas and New Years helpfully puts both the difficult seasons in one conveniently scheduleable time of year.

    Unsure whether indie has any particular patterns on releases and sales, but I am now wondering if that’s an opportunity to take advantage of a slow northern-hemisphere season at a time when I can potentially ramp up. Though that is probably thinking to keep for when I have more on the shelves.