The Wall

It’s been ages since I sat down to write a post for my writers blog. I think about this website all the time. After all, this is more me than Relentless: it has my name on it. I should be working on it regularly, pimping myself, polishing myself. But I don’t, I let it slide.

My problem, in a nutshell, is that I lack discipline.

This isn’t probably something I should admit to in public, not when one of the goals of is to showcase my work and abilities as a writer to potential employers and publishers.

But another goal of this blog is to be upfront and honest about life as a writer: its failings and its unmentionables. Writing is a hard slog, often with few tangible rewards.

I am halfway through a Post-graduate Diploma of Professional Writing at Curtin University. I undertake a single unit a semester so that I may still have time for my other writing and more importantly, be there for my children. During term, most of my writing time tends to be focussed on my university assignments. Other writing, such as Relentless and my articles over at WeekendNotes tend to suffer.

And then I reach that point. For this unit, that point is about 3,300 words into a 5,000 word essay. The wall.


It’s not writers block. I know what I need to write, and how to finish the essay. It’s just rather than sitting down and completing it – as a disciplined writer would – I am now procrastinating. I have done more loads of washing in the past fortnight than in the previous month. I have been dreaming up more inventive articles over at WN. I am playing with the plot to a new children’s story.

Anything rather than write the one thing I am meant to be writing.

I read once that the difference between an amateur writer and a professional writer is that a professional writes every day. I also remember reading that if you want to be a real novelist, you should write at least 100 words every single day, whether you want to or not.

Part of the reason of attending uni is that I am forced to write in new genres, about new topics and for new audiences, with a deadline.

It is the deadline that keeps me moving. Keeps me honest. Last November I wrote over 18,000 words of my novel for NaNoWriMo. Since then I only have penned around 500.

500 words in 10 months.

Someone told me today that unlike paid work or commissioned writing (or university assignments) there are no consequences if I do not write a post for my blogs every day. There are no repercussions if I do not finish my novel. No one else suffers for lack of my craft, except for me.

So, I appeal to you: how do you make yourself write? Do you set yourself targets or do you make timetables? How can I restructure the way I work so that I am more disciplined in my approach?

Because I obviously need some help.