One would think that after over 30 years writing and 5 novels published, I would be more accustomed to overcoming resistance to writing.
Once past the first draft and into revision, I will do virtually anything to avoid actually writing a new scene: dishes, laundry, FaceBook, mail, research, weeding, filing, and even (gasp) taxes.
And now: blogging—for I am writing this instead of writing the #%$ scene!
Ok, enough of this: I’ll check in back here in 1 hour to report.
43 minutes later …
… and I’ve yet to even set the timer. I think of all the hard-working writers with day jobs, burning the night-oil, and here I am with a day ahead, writing not a word. Instead? I fell into the Net: FaceBook, Kickstarter (where, by the way, I did contribute to a worthy documentary about Emily Dickenson).
Now, the timer. Sheesh.
1 hour later …
OK: 1 hour accomplished, and it wasn’t even all that painful.
I’m working on a section incorporating a lot of the research I’ve been doing this week into the daily life of Madame Campan’s boarding school for girls. (Hence the photo: these are the actual stairs.) It’s awkward—like force-feeding a narrative with details—and these scenes will need to be revised many, many times so that they doesn’t feel stuffed.
At the same time, it’s rather fun seeing this boarding school come to life. I’ve recently discovered what time the bells rang, the dining-hall procedures, bed times and all that. Punishments and rewards. How clothing was labeled and when linens were changed and feet washed. Exam schedules, etc. etc. etc.
(How much of this will stay in the novel? That remains to be seen. You can kill a story with TMI.)
The truth is that small steps work wonders. I could have said: OK, write for only 15 minutes, and that would have opened it up. It’s always that first hurdle.
Now: to exercise … groan!
What do you do to motivate yourself? What works for you?