A book deadline’s starting to kick in which means I’m mooching around like a kid with homework telling myself that ‘seriously dude, you really need to concentrate on the assignment’ but willing to be distracted by almost anything else. Including horrors, housework.
I know I’m in trouble when I’m cleaning windows and buying oven cleaner. Writers are crazy for any creativity tip or trick that will get our butts into the chair and writing. Here are my favourites:
- Setting an alarm – you only have to write thirty minutes and then you can go play for thirty minutes..Write thirty… play thirty and so on. It’s kinda like Jack Bauer and 24 only instead of racing to save the president you’re either racing toward your computer or away from it. (Yeah, we’re real sad cases).
- Immediately on waking, fall out of bed and go to your computer and write, write, write before your brain wakes up and says, “Hey, wait a minute, we haven’t done our procrastinating yet!” This one really worked…for a while. Until it got too hard to stop my little hand from simply turning off the alarm and my little eyes from closing again. I have heard of an alarm clock that tumbles off the bedside table and rolls around the floor forcing you to get up and shut IT OFF! I’ve known about it for two years.
- Eric Maisel: This creative and entertaining psychologist spoke at Romance Writers of America conference one year. Break a raw egg in a bowl of water at your computer before starting work and stir it three to five times to break your mental resistance to writing. (Yes, you add the shell, saving it to cook later is missing the point). I did this once but I’m a Virgo and I can’t stand a messy, broken egg in my workspace so I had to get up and clear it away. Did I go back? Not telling.
Someone else suggested (and it may or may not have been Eric), to sit at your computer and instead of whining, ‘I hate my characters’ and ‘why isn’t this working’ and ‘Isn’t there a toilet that needs cleaning,’ to say, “I’m devoted to the work”. Which of course, is the truth. You are. I just need reminding occasionally.
And of course romance mega diva Nora Roberts just says “quit whining and get on with it.”
Fair enough, Nora.