Was exploring this in my own notes. Here's what I came up with -
The writing skill is the act of:
*Sitting down somewhere suitable to work
*Outling a rough idea of what I want to write
*Starting to write (by which, I mean starting to type)
But sometimes I "don't have it" - then what?
Well, alternatively I can:
*Read a little while
*Just sit there and suffer
Training this skill is training the components of:
*Going to the correct suitable environment
*Outlining the writing
*Starting to write
*If I don't "have it", choosing a suitable alternative activity instead of distraction
This is a skill/habit/action pattern that requires development to be effective. Doing this regularly and consistently will make me better at it.
Sometimes I'll fall short with it. That's okay. It's the constant application of myself to it that will cause improvement in skill and judgment. Whereas right now, my default might be to turn to distraction if I'm frustrated, over time and practice that default will shift and it will become easier.
Seems correct-ish. Like anything else, you can habituate and train yourself to be able to do creative things, even if you "don't have it" at any given time.
Research freewriting. Mark Levy's "Accidental Genius" is a good book on it, but there are others as well. I think your method may work for someone who likes structure, but for someone like me who despises set solutions to just about any problem I would find it very frustrating.
The skill of writing free of distraction, yes what a valuable commodity to be nourished. I've always found it much easier to begin doing work, or at least a rough outline with a simple blank notebook and a pen. It is also useful to pursue this in an environment where you don't necessarily have access to the internet. Once that first distraction hits, it makes it very difficult to make any substantial headway. Or similarly if you have another computer that you don't use all the time, or perhaps one you can devote to just getting work done it would help cut down on distractions. Having a very personalized computer you are familiar with and one which you use to read news articles, contact friends and family etc... will inevitably lead you to recall and wish to pursue those activities when you should otherwise be thinking or writing. But in contrast, having even another very cheap or simple computer that you only do work on would be a constant physical reminder that you were writing, and not socializing. Then of course, once you have done some of the initial leg work, gotten a working outline of what you want to do accomplished, or simply have a substantial end vision in mind working towards that end goal becomes easier; even rewarding as you are able to make headway towards it.
Really enjoyed your most recent blog post on quitting things that will kill you. I am curious about this section:
But with training (and not all that much training), I think it’s possible to get all of that without drinking. I do all kinds of idiot absurd shit, and then, as an added bonus, I’m sober in case I’ve got to fix the idiot shit I did. While dead sober, I say the things that most people need to get 5-6 drinks in them to say. And you know what? It’s alright, nothing irreparably bad happens.
What steps/training did you use to remove your inhibitions?
Sometimes a man just has to do speak to himself, to run things through his mind, to think things out. He might reflect about things like should I consider changing jobs, ask her out (if he's single and she's single), consider starting an exercise program or investing in continuing education. It helps if you have a friend or spouse that will let you talk it out, but if not, I guess this is about the next best thing.
The last few days I’ve been thinking about my passion of writing. I have been writing since I was in high school when Lyndon Baines Johnson was president of the United States. I had my first professional writing sale in 1981. I’ve been writing a long time. Even though I've never published a book I have published a short story, poetry, and dozens of non-fiction articles. I have dozens of paid writing credits. I am a writer. I even have a short story that will be in next Tuesday's issue of Bewildering Stories.
I remind myself of the these credits where I don't let an agent, editor, publisher, writing group or friend get me down. I am not the reason they are having a bad day, don't need what I wrote, or don't like what I am writing. They are not the reason my writing sucks, story isn't interesting or good enough. Sometimes I need to man up, work harder, and not be so tough on myself. Only my mother will say she likes everything I write and she has to because she's my mother.I have to remind myself that sometimes the timing is off, sometimes the market isn't right, sometimes ....
I need to do what I always do when rejected ... cry, scream, think how dumb they are ... take a deep breath and get back to reality. Continue writing and continue submitting ... just maybe the next one will need what I’m writing, won’t have a client they represent who has written something similar and just maybe my writing will continue getting better.
I write because I am a writer. Writing is what we do.