Writing: Forcing It Out

It’s Saturday morning, and I’ve got the whole day ahead of me to do nothing but write. A perfect opportunity to pound out a thousand or more words and make some real headway on that second novel. So why don’t I do it? Because I need to exercise, water the garden, hang with the critters, catch up on email, do some heavy duty online shopping, and eat something that I make from scratch because I tend to feel powerfully hungry when I’m distracting myself and I want to eat healthy…all before I can hunker down over the computer and do what I love. Really.

I love the feel of words as they spill out from my fingertips and onto the page…even when they don’t make sense or feel clunky. When I engage in other activities, I tell myself it’ll only take a few minutes. I’ll get to my writing soon, and suddenly hours whiz right past me. After which, I shuffle around with broken promises settling over my shoulders. I make myself incapacitated for no good reason. What to do?

I don’t sweat it anymore. I get through the morning, knowing that I will write. Just before noon, I take out my ball and chain made of industrial strength iron, secure one end to my ankle and the other to the table leg where my computer sits, and write. Usually the first attempts are feeble, but an hour or more later, it’s not so bad. Until gradually, a zombie invasion can’t pull me away (I keep a chainsaw nearby).

Even when I take breaks, the writing doesn’t stop. Physically, I can be seen washing dishes or walking with the dogs, but on the mental front, I’m with my characters, on a college campus, at a pig farm or wherever their adventures may lead me. I’ve accepted my inability to start writing as promptly as I’d like, but knowing how awful I feel when I don’t write at all is a mighty powerful elixir that forces me to glue my back end to the chair. Eventually anyway.

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