#5 Remember Tomorrow Never Comes
OK, here's the deal, tomorrow will never come. That sounds like a very philosophical statement coming from me and I'm not normally a philosophical writer, but hear me out. To prove my point check out my waistline. I know, what does that have to do with writing!? EVERYTHING! I keep telling myself that I will diet, and I will exercise, but I'll do it tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow because I'm too tired, or that roast beast (beef) looks too good to only have one helping. I can't diet today because that Almond Joy cake Momma made for dessert can't possibly be left for her to eat! She's a diabetic for crying out loud. I'm saving her from herself. I must save her and I must do it twice TODAY! So TOMORROW I will diet. But for some strange reason it is always today. Today is the only day that we have to think about, so let's make the most of it.
You need to make yourself write sometimes. At first it will come easily. You are going to be so stoked by a great story. You are going to do nothing but write, write, write. They ideas are going to flow from your fingers. The sparks will fly, and your significant other will be standing nearby with a fire extinguisher to make sure that no fires are started. Then your darling child comes up to you and says, "I'm hungry!" or my personal favorite, "I'm bored!" So you get up quickly and run to the kitchen to make a quick PB&J and then you are headed back to write. You then see the mail on the table that has to be put away. Dang is that the credit card bill that was due last week? Why didn't that get paid? Now you are making a mad dash for the check book to pay it before too many late fees get added. Hold up, the check book's not balanced? It's always balanced, do you have enough to pay the bill? By this time, you have forgotten that you were writing in the first place.
It's especially hard on a nice sunny day. But you need to set a goal, even if it's small.
* My goal for today is 400 words, in other words, you can set a word count goal!
So if you decide that you are going to write that 400 words act like the Nike commercial and Just Do It! Sit down and write 400 words. It needs to be something. It doesn't have to be the most wonderful thing you have ever written and if you are stuck on the story that you are writing, start on something else. Don't force the words to come that will only frustrate you and drive a very painful and potentially LONG writers block into your near future. (I hate writers block! In the infamous words of my children, "It sooooo sucks!")
* My goal is 5 pages, I'm sure you get where this is going, a page goal right!?
It's time to be selfish. Have your spouse watch the kids. Go somewhere quiet, or semi-quiet if you live in my house and close the door. Put several full laundry baskets in front of the door and sit down to write. You have to take the time to do this.If you don't take the time to be selfish with your writing, no one else is going to do this for you. If you don't take care of this child, (Yes, your writing is your baby too! Don't believe me? Wait till your first not so good review when you want to beat the heck out of some reviewer for having an opinion. And do remember folks, it's just an opinion. OK?) no one is going to do it for you. So you need to get off your duff and take time for it. You can not blame anyone but yourself if you don't get it done.
* My goal is to write for 30 minutes and last but not least...a timed goal!
I know you've heard it before but use a timer. The advice is sound, tried and true guys. If you don't have an egg timer, a timer on your microwave, your stove, your phone, or an alarm clock, I do have solutions. I absolutely love this site: http://www.nakedalarmclock.com/ because you can set it and have it go off whenever your goal time is complete. Besides, the name is fun. (I bet over half of you have already clicked on the link thinking you would find something naked on there, HA fooled you.) Make sure if you set a timer for yourself, that you are not punishing yourself. Try not to make this a time out like you would give your child. So, don't do it for 3 straight hours in a row. When I tutored college Accounting, I always told students never to study for more than an hour at a time, take a 10-15 minute break and then go back to studying. That way your brain doesn't go into overload. If you force your brain to work non-stop for 3-4 hours then you may end up resenting the time that you are sitting there, and won't enjoy what you are doing. Another fun thing that I can tell you about is http://lab.drwicked.com/writeordie.html. You can go to that site and put in your word goal, a time limit, and if you would prefer the program it to go easy on you, be strict or just be plain evil. It's a little difficult to explain, so you may want to go there and play with it just for fun! If nothing else, it kicks you in the butt and gets your mind working and breaks the monotony of a brain fart or writers block.
Make sure to come back next week when we talk about organizational skills! It's a great thing baby!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
#5 Remember Tomorrow Never Comes