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Monday, July 18, 2011

Anti-Writing Rituals

Last week I did a couple of blogs on the rituals that get us into the writing spirit. Some invite the muse, some focus our energies, some (sitting down in front of the computer, for instance) just discipline us to work.

Today I want to examine some of the best excuses there are (there ALWAYS are some!) for not writing. What do we have to overcome to make the writing happen?

#1. Inertia. This one is a killer ally when you get it working for you -- as in, I wrote yesterday and the day before so I can write today, too. It is exactly the opposite when you get into a non-writing phase: I didn't write yesterday and the world didn't end; guess it won't end if I don't write today. The truth? Of course the world isn't ending, but your writing efforts just may.

Moral: Don't let the inertia get you. WRITE!

#2. Procrastination. Anyone who has taught at Chico State (or pretty much anywhere, I'm guessing) has heard every possible excuse. When someone tells me, "I write better under pressure," I bite my tongue to keep from answering, "Procastinator! You aren't serious about writing at all." And of course it's true -- for me as well.

Moral: When I find myself saying I can't write yet because I have to scrub the kitchen floor, I KNOW I'm just putting it off and it's time to GET TO WORK!

#3. I'm waiting for inspiration. This is just procrastination by another name. When you sit down and work, the inspiration comes. If you futz around "waiting" for it, the muse may elude you forever.

Moral: Similar to #2: GET TO WORK!

Goodness knows there are more "good" excuses, but most of them fall into sub-categories of these three. I wish you and me both all the best as we beat these stalwart enemies into submission. Write on!

Share your favorite excuses?

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