Delaying Tactics

What do you do instead of writing? I don’t mean the things that stop you from finding the time to write, but the things that you do to avoid hitting the keyboard when you actually do have the time.

I’m one of those people that really dreads the blank page. I’m fine once I get started, but beginning something new is a struggle for me. In my head, I know that I’m only writing, in Anne Lamott’s words, a ‘shitty first draft’ (Bird by Bird). I know that every word that hits the page the first time through does not have the right to sprout roots and stay put and that changes will be made later. In fact, I really enjoy editing. However, all that ‘knowing’ does not help the fact that I would rather clean my bathroom than start typing those first words–or put in a load of laundry–or organize my files, or my bookcase, or the top of my desk–all things that normally are regularly on the bottom of my to-do list. On the plus side, starting a new project usually coincides with a much tidier office.

Now, obviously I do get started, or I wouldn’t be much of a writer, but if anyone has some tips for short-circuiting my initial plunge into a story, I’d love to hear them. And now, I’m going to pick up my story where I left off yesterday and get some work done.

4 thoughts on “Delaying Tactics

  1. I do not have any tips on how to dive in with writing, but I simply wanted to say that I have the same problem. Getting started is such a chore for me, but once I’m started everything seems to flow. Even if it is pure crap, at least flows when I get over the initial hurdle.

    I hope people offer some nice advice! Sorry for lacking in that.

    • I guess no matter how you look at it–writing is just hard work. There are those wonderful times when the words just flow, but mostly it’s bum on the seat and get the job done. Wouldn’t have my life without it though!

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