Recently I got back on the writing track, rediscovering my novel after a substantial absence. I sat down, read it over, thought to myself: YES! THIS IS GREAT! I MUST KEEP GOING!
…talked myself into doing the laundry.
Yes, folks…it’s…procrastination! KERPOW!
I have no idea why writers get struck by this particular brand of lightening now and then. You sit down raring to go, cracking your knuckles in anticipation, for here it is, that desired WRITING TIME!
You get all cozy in your writing spot but then realize…you need a cup of tea/coffee. Oh, and a sweater. Oh, and you’d better get up now to use the washroom so you won’t be disturbed later in the middle of something good…
When you get back to your laptop, you ‘accidentally’ hop on Twitter to see what everyone else is doing (anyone else writing out there? Hello?). Finally, you click on your writing file, so you can you-re-read what you’ve written before this session, all the better to orient yourself in anticipation of creating brilliant work…but, oh, wait! You’re tea/coffee cup needs a refill, though the sound of that liquid sloshing only makes you want to pee again… SO YOU COME BACK FROM THE BATHROOM…AND THEN…
Opps. Look at the time! Your time for writing is all done! Aw, shucks!
A neat little bit of self-sabotage.
Why do I sabotage myself like this? What am I so afraid of when I sit down and ‘not write’? That the writing will be bad? That it will be so rotten, stinking bad that it will undermine all my efforts and ruin my dreams of publishing? Will it truly be so bad?
There is no such thing as bad writing. All writing is a starting point. If I put something down I don’t like, it can be re-worked. At the very least, it can illuminate the path-not-to-take, a negative illuminating a positive.
But if I have nothing down…if the page is blank…then there’s no where to go. There is no foot hold.
The only ‘bad’ writing is ‘no’ writing! You can’t improve upon a blank page!
Soooo…message to self: alphabetizing the spice cupboard can wait! JUST KEEP WRITING!
Oh come on. You KNOW you love alphabetizing your spice cupboard!
Just to give you a little push, I’ve sold some short stories, been invited to contribute to some more anthologies, gotten a positive comment from a Federal Cabinet Minister on one of my political columns, and gotten an email from a columnist at the Toronto Sun about another political column telling me well done.
Not too bad for a year in which I spent a lot of it in pain so bad I couldn’t think straight.
As a friend of mine says, it all comes down to getting backside into chair, and hands on keyboard 🙂
PS: You’d damned well better finish this – I’m waiting to read it.