Friday, February 10, 2012

Kicking Butt

"Novels don't write themselves." 

Well, duh. If I had a cup of water for every time I've read or heard that I could buy myself a whale to live in it. People like to state the obvious. Sometimes, it needs to be stated. Sometimes, I, as a writer, need to hear that. And then I think, Well, duh. Then I go write for a day. Maybe two.

But nobody ever tells you how freaking hard it is to keep writing when you have nothing waiting for you at the other end. There's no "I won NaNoWriMo 2012" buttons or $1000 prizes or an automatic book contract. You don't even know if people will want to read what you're writing. It's depressing but its true.

Unless. Unless you have awesome people who believe and invest in you and build you up without filling your brain full of fluffy compliments. For some people, this is enough incentive to write every day. You are awesome. (If you don't have these kinds of friends - start looking! They're out there.)

I am not one of those people. I can do NaNoWrimo. I can do writing contests. But when it comes to my personal writing I am a slacker. I have an amazing 'tribe' that I meet with every month or so who are some of the most delightful, encouraging people I know. They like me and my writing. (Unless they're just phenomenal actors... :) But sadly this is not enough for me to write every day.

My Y5 Tribe does challenge each other to write 500 words every day and sometimes we post deadlines for everyone but its hard to keep up. Three of them are off at college and Miss Goff has at least ten jobs at any given time. It's hard to keep each other accountable when we don't interact with each other every day.

You know what else is hard? Developing habits. If I'm a slacker with my writing I am an epic fail at habit making. Especially when it comes to writing. I'm also the Almighty Golden Empress of Procrastination but we won't talk about that.

Anyway. I found myself in a bit of a conundrum earlier this week thinking through all those deep thoughts. I desperately needed someone to kick my butt and I was complaining to one of my best friends who is also a writer. We were in the same situation and she asked me to PLEASE help get her started back in writing. (She desperately wants to finish her Zombie novel.) We both agreed butt kicking was in order.

Ms. Avie and Me :)
Problem #1: We don't even live in the same state. Avriel moved to Colorado and I'm in Georgia. Butt Kicking? How will that work?

Problem #2: We've tried this before. We tried earlier in January to keep our goal of 500 words a day and let the other know when we finished and yay, give digital hugs and cookies etc. But it wasn't superbly successful. So basically I was thinking... um okayyy... but something's gotta give... 

Avie texted me back and said: "How bout from 6pm-8am neither of us can text the other till our 500 is written?"

My first thought was, um, NO, I like talking to you thank you very much... But then I thought some second and third thoughts and realized... Okay, that's actually a fantastic idea. We text each other 24/7 and that's definitely a big enough incentive for me to write.

We started Monday. I've finished the first two chapters of Book Three and I'm slowly but surely getting re-immersed in my story. Sometimes it absolutely sucks. But I have to grow up and write at some point. So I did.

And that feels beyond good.

That's how good accountability works though, right? Somebody who loves you, comes along, tells you to get over yourself... and then goes through the sucky business of fixing yourself with you. And its honestly very nice to know that someone is suffering with you.

So. I solved my problem. Now go find someone to kick your butt and ask if you can kick theirs too. Accountability has to work both ways. And you could ask more nicely. That's just my advice. :D

Also... If you would like to check out my Zombie Loving friend she blogs at She doesn't blog about Zombies to my knowledge but she is an amazing photographer and writer and she's nice enough to be my friend so I think she's pretty cool. :) I'm sure she would love it if you left an encouraging comment, too. 

Is anyone else finding ways around their Writer's Laziness? Or have advice pertaining to it? :)


  1. I think that with me, it's either a treat I deny myself,or its becomes so emotional that it blots out everything else(and I need to run a household) or sometimes, I'm a teensy bit scared of the power writing has over me or, I'm great at starting but rubbish at following through. So no, can't offer any help! Any of that sound familiar?

    1. Yeah, sometimes writing can overpower all the other stuff I need to do too. (I'm great at procrastination) and I definitely have problems finishing something I've started. I've just had to find a balance... But I think its different for everyone.

      The 500 words a day works for me. :)

  2. boy howdy do i need a Y5 butt-kicking. i'm glad Kas and Dar randomly text me threatening messages on occasion; it's a nice shock to the system.

    i'll need lots of butt-kicking if i'm going to start querying this summer. o__O

    1. Yes. Nothing like a guilt trip to get you in gear again. ;)

      I think we should start that deadline thing again... Even if everyone has different goals they want to get done. :)

  3. Okay McKenzie, I'm going to take a chance here and completely disagree with you - in the nicest possible way of course! Although I think that writing something everyday is important and a very good idea, I also think that if you are living life, having fun, working a part time job etc... all of that activity will enhance your writing too. If it's a choice between having fun with your friends and (having fun)writing, go have fun with your friends! Those situations, the dynamics between people, the events of life, will all bring more to your writing than you can imagine.

    Let's face it McKenzie, you are already a lovely writer. That's a given now. You know how to set up a scene, use delicious words, get your point across. The next step is to learn all you can about life and human behaviour.

    Love your writing! Hugs! Jo-Anne

    1. I'm glad you disagree :) And I definitely understand your point and I think its a great one. To be a good writer you obviously have to have some handle on life around you - otherwise people might not connect with what you're writing.

      I have to say, I haven't really been in a situation where I could choose writing over hanging with friends so I don't know what I would do... and I don't feel like I'm ditching friendships or life opportunities just to write 500 words a day.

      I just feel that, though I do have a passion for writing and in some ways it does come easily for me, I still need to practice and build habits that will further enhance my gift. Who knows! Writing could be my job one day. :) (and that would be awwwwesome....:D)

      And thank you. :) You have such a wonderful gift for building people up! (P.S. Sorry it took so long for me to reply! I've had a crazy week. O.o)