I have great news! This post is going to be about two things - the importance of filing, and getting things done.
I just got back from an overseas trip on Monday, and it took me a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. I've been telling myself for a very long time - weeks? Months? - that I need to finish these short stories I've been working on. I've been working on one of them almost all year, and kept taking breaks, putting it off, working on other projects. Part of the problem is that I love the act of creation more than I actually like the work of sitting down and finishing something. I love writing, but I find the ideas to be the fun part. This is something that has changed since I finished my first novel, unfortunately, and is something I'm working on changing back. The other part of the problem is that I see everything as a book. I cannot stop writing a short story, because I can see it going on indefinitely, 'the end' of a short story doesn't seem like the appropriate place to end it. A recent short story came out as 10k words, and turned into the prologue of a novel about the future Chinese revolution. I am a novelist, at heart.
So I told myself, when I got back, that I was going to finish both of these short stories I've been stuck on. And I have. One each day. This may not sound like such a big deal. Understandable. I'm a writer, finishing a piece should not really be a cause for celebration. And it's not so much the finishing that's got me excited, it's the willpower that got me to finish it. It's a good sign, that I can tell myself to finish a piece, and write 2100 words to do so that day. Two finished short stories! That gives me a grand total of six in my 'Finished Stories' folder, and five of them need to be edited. But that brings me to my next point, filing.
I think having a filing system is key. My current system is one folder for each major aspect of writing: notes, novels, finished stories, and works in progress. Each is split further from there, but that's mostly my OCD at that point. I think having a filing system is key for two things - being able to find anything you're working on quickly, and being able to move things from one place to another. The feeling of accomplishment I had when I was able to move a story from 'works in progress' to 'finished stories' was an even better feeling than actually finishing the story. I know the story isn't finished, and needs to be edited, but having it in some place other than 'works in progress' makes me feel like someone. It makes me feel like a real, accomplished writer. Look at me! I can finish a story. And not only can I finish them, but I can do it whenever I want, as long as I put my mind to it.
So can you! Writer's block is the name given to your own fears and insecurities. I've been through it, too. The best way to get over writer's block is with brute force. Thanks for stopping by, see you Monday!