Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cranking up the rusty wheels

It has been entirely too long since I’ve written a post. I can whine and complain about how complicated my life has been, but the reality is that writing is like exercise – difficult to get motivated about starting, but surprisingly cathartic once I’ve taken the plunge.

Recently I was at a seminar where one of the round-table discussions centered around writing strategies. Most interesting to me were the strategies people use to convince themselves to write. One lady always stopped writing in the middle of a sentence, so that she’d have a thought to begin with the next time. The man beside me said he always goes somewhere across town to write – a coffee shop or a park – because once he’s there he can tell himself he has to keep writing to make the trip worthwhile. The woman leading the session rewarded herself for writing by bribing herself with Solitaire games – for every page or so written she’d allow herself to play three games.

It’s interesting, I think, that we must entice ourselves to write. I don’t hear people talk of strategies to get started with reading, or ways to manage reading a book so you’ll pick it up the next time. Even when you’re reading for an assignment, it’s much easier than writing one. Is it because it’s a type of Breathing Out that requires us to actively produce thought rather than merely absorb another’s ideas?

At any rate, I’m going to work at playing games with myself to be a more active writer. One idea I liked from the round-table discussion was not writing every day – maybe just every other day, the ones with the letter T in them. I’ll promise myself that I only need to write one paragraph, and if I write more then that’s just icing on the cake.

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