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The Only Thing To Do Is Keep Writing

I purposefully did not bring scripts or cryptogram puzzles to work, because like Return of the Modern Philosopher, on Mondays I write. At least, that is what I told myself when I packed my work bag this morning. I had a feeling even then that it would not work out as planned and, well, here we are.

It’s even worse than I thought.  As I wrote that last paragraph I felt pleased with it.  It’s getting to the point where the go-to topic for this blog is Not Writing.  SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

I was about to say, “The only thing to do about it is …”  when I realized I have in fact a few different options. Perhaps I could write about them and make this an acceptable Monday Mental Meanderings post.

I could take a break from writing entirely.  That might re-charge my batteries.  However, past experience has shown that complete breaks tend to have the opposite effect on me.

I could force myself to try to write on other topics or projects.  While this often leads to long periods of staring at a blank page, sometimes it works.

A related approach which works even better is to give myself permission to begin a new project.  Few things are easier for me than to begin an entirely new project.  I write notes and notes as ideas seem to tumble out of my pen. It is great fun.  The problem with this approach is — you guessed it — it leads to any number of uncompleted projects as beginning them is much easier than continuing and eventually finishing them.

My original thought was the thing to do is to continue writing whatever I can write and hope to segue over into something more useful as time goes on.  This is my usual approach and hence my automatic thought of it as the only thing to do.

There are other little tricks:  Switching mediums — that is, stop writing and try typing.  Can’t do that right now;  I’m at work with my trusty spiral notebook and ballpoint pen.  Thus, related techniques such as changing locations, changing clothes, putting on music, and drinking tea are likewise ineligible.

I can’t think of any other little tricks offhand, but I see I have accumulated a few paragraphs already that might in fact make a blog post.  Cool.

I know, I will go back to my first-mentioned technique and modify it:  Instead of forcing myself to do anything, I shall gently lead myself to another project and write just a sentence or two.  No pressure, they can be lousy sentences, just see what comes out.  Astute readers (as I”m sure YOU are) will have noticed that I have also incorporated my most often used technique:  I kept writing and now hope to make the segue.  Or is it more of a leap?  No matter, whatever it is, I am going to turn the page and see what happens.

Update:  After I wrote the above I turned the page and wrote a new scene on my novel.  I believe it moved the plot along, incorporating an element which I had introduced earlier but neglected.  Full disclosure:  it may have been a lousy scene.  The important thing is I wrote it. Now to write something else…



5 responses »

  1. I do the spiral-notebook-and-ballpoint pen thing at work, too! It’s sitting beside me as we speak in case I get struck with a moment of clarity, I mean genius. I also write notes and notes and notes and then more notes. Then I’m scrambling to try and put them together in one cohesive piece. Sometimes I feel like Dorie the fish from Finding Nemo, “just keep writing, just keep writing.” As long as we keep turning the page, right? 🙂

    • I just love the physical action of writing. Come to think of it, I love to type too. It continually fascinates me that I learned the keyboard and can just find the right letters without looking at them. Lately I feel I really have to work on having something to say, but one must persevere. And turning the page is such a good metaphor! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Writing a new novel about a novelist who can’t finish any of her writing projects! I think that’s the ticket for you, Cynthia!! I really think that’s one you’ll love to the end!!!


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