Sunday, August 05, 2007

5,ooo words

Lately, I've been suffering from writer's procrastination. I'd say it was writer's block but that wouldn't entirely be true. Partly, I was stuck, just didn't know how to get started on the next scene in the book. I knew where I wanted to go, what needed to happen next, but for some reason just couldn't get the words down on the page.

When that happens, I try to remind myself of a quote in one of my favorite writing books, Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. She says something like, "allow yourself to write junk." That usually helps. I can edit the hell out of junk. But if one can't get junk down on the page, it's darned hard to edit it.

So largely, this block is due to procrastination. Oh, I should check the myspace site to see what is going on there. The blog, have to blog today, right? Email. Anything interesting going on with the reader loops? Research, that's right, I just feel the need to Google something. I do need to find out more about sailing for this next book, right? Well, yeah, but that doesn't help the next scene, does it?

Anyway, after taking all the major procrastination tacks for the week, I finally said out loud that I was setting a writing goal for myself for the weekend -- 5000 words. I knew I could write more if it came down to it. Lots more. Have done it a ton of times. But thought I would start small. So I could feel victorious.

It is 4:38 p.m. and I've written 5,238 words. Yay, me! Finally, finally, feel like I've pushed through. Finally! Perhaps, I may even get a few hundred more in tonight.

How do you push yourself through when blocks or procrastination sets in?

maddie

p.s. I'm traveling tomorrow to Arizona, to do some service work with a funder from my office in a school on the
Tohono O’odham reservation in the southern part of the state. Yes, desert! So, I may be reporting from there this week! Have a good one.
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