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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Inertia


I just handed off a proposal to my agent, so it's time for me to move on to one of several writing items on my to-do list.

Except that I don't wanna. It's a gloomy, rainy day in Houston, and chores need doing, the dogs want petting, the soup requires cooking and...

Oh, crud, it's just inertia, creeping over me like kudzu. And as with kudzu, there's not a darned thing you can do except to whip out your machete (or pen or keyboard in my case) and hack straight through the crud. Because the more you put it off, the thicker inertia's vines grow all about you, and before you know it, you've wasted not a day but a week, a month, or a career to what Steven Pressfield, in his fabulous War of Art, calls the forces of resistance.

By the way, if you're having problems with procrastination, try Pressfield's little book. It's a quick read but one ever writer should own.

Or you can try my time-honored technique and whine about it on the blog 'til you feel too guilty to avoid the real work.

Anyone have other tips to get themselves started? I'd love to hear your ideas.

4 comments:

Karen Hankins said...

Hey Colleen, It sounds strange, but sometimes the best motivation for me is to pick up one of my favorite novels and read the first few pages. I don't view the good writing as a challenge or a target to aspire to, but more an inspiration, of words put together well.

Colleen Thompson said...

That's a very good point. I love to read opening lines for inspiration, too, to ask myself which ones really pull me in and what I can do to make my own more compelling.

Thanks for stopping by!

Suzan Harden said...

DH has resorted to combination of bribery and guilt. It's a childish form of incentive but it's working. Like going to a movie I really want to see this week, I had to send out three queries last week.

Hey, it worked. I sent out five.

Colleen Thompson said...

Great system, Suzan. Esp. since I get to be the beneficiary! :)

I started my project yesterday, but despite coming up with an ubercool opening para, it didn't feel right.

Turns out I had the hero/heroine roles backward. Time for some gender-bending.

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