Productivity and the Personality . . . Disordered
Recently I asked the Lord to show me why I struggle so much with procrastination when it comes to my fiction writing. I sit at the laptop and stare at the blank page. It’s all up in my brain, but I have a hard time getting it transferred through my fingertips. I can even relate to this in other areas of my life. Is there some kind of fear of failure torturing me? What is it? I mean, I love words, the process of creating a story and especially when I get in the zone, writing itself.
Last week, I watched a video talk given by author Susan May Warren from My Book Therapy on becoming an author and one of the subjects she addressed was the different ways the four basic personality types (sanguine, choleric, melancholy and phlegmatic) and how they affect writing productivity. I happen to be melancholy/phlegmatic. Melancholies, she said, tend to overanalyze while they’re writing, which slows them down. That’s how I am! Just throw in a little perfectionism to make the process more agonizing. As far as being phlegmatic, Susan mentioned that they don’t like putting their characters in difficult circumstances. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I do better with internal than external conflict. This makes for a difficult combination.
Understanding these things about myself, helps me bring order to the disorder of my writing habit. Since I am overanalyzing my writing before I even start, I need to find strategies to deal with it. Instead of feeling like I am looking over a dangerous cliff and unsure how I’m going to cross the chasm from the starting point to done, I need to build a bridge. I’ve been reading about writing productivity and trying to find what works for me. One tip I’ve found is writing a summary of what I will be writing that day. I don’t have to outline every little point, but at least I have a rough sketch to help me get started.
The important thing to remember is not comparing myself to the authors who write 10,000 words a day, but what works with my personality to help me become more productive. What is your personality type? What helps you become more productive?
Writing prompt for this Monday: The house on . . .
Finish this sentence any way you like and continue writing for one to two paragraphs. Have fun with it!