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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Procrastination and Production

Based on what I call this blog, “What is she thinking?”, you might think I haven’t been doing much thinking for about ten months. Not true, I promise. I also promise I’ve been a little writing beast. I’ve turned in three projects and am currently working on a fourth right now.
The reason I haven’t blogged is because I’ve viewed the blog as an extra. Book comes first, blog comes second, but come on, almost a year between blogs? I know. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? So I’m making a resolution to write more frequently.
I just have to make sure I don’t use the blog as a way to procrastinate, because we writers can serve up about a thousand reasons to put off writing faster than you can eat one piece of chocolate.
Another source of procrastination is surfing the net. My two favorite places for dodging my current manuscript are http://www.sunless.com/ and http://www.hln.org/ One of the sites deals with the application of self-tanner, something I’ve been unable to master. The other is the website for Huey Lewis and the News. I love seeing this group live.
Yet another source of procrastination is reading the news. My level of knowledge of current news often correlates directly to how difficult I’m finding the scene I’m currently writing.
Some of us are forced to use tricks to get ourselves to face the blank page and get cracking. You would think that after writing 42 novels and novellas, I would have all this mastered, but I don’t. One of my tricks is to tell myself to write for fifteen minutes. I did this in college with studying and found that after I’d studied for fifteen minutes, I usually wanted to study longer.
Another trick is to write in sessions – two to three sessions per day. The idea is that you’re not done after one session. You go back to the book.
I’ve begun using a little writing tablet called NEO by alphasmart to keep me moving. No internet on my NEO and only four lines appear on the screen, so I can’t over edit at that stage.
Some people write out a plan for every single scene in the book, but that takes some of the fun out the process for me. I enjoy some sense of discovery. Some people separate writers into two groups – plotters and pantsers, but I think a combination of approaches works best for me.
Another trick is having what I call a book-it buddy. This is a writer friend with whom I check in and encourage via email on a daily basis. Cindy Gerard is my book-it buddy.:) Knowing I must report my pages at the end of the day can motivate and/or shame me into getting off of sunless.com and back to my book.
My other trick is to use affirmations. I’ve found affirmations so effective that I’ve dedicated part of my website to affirmations for writers. And yes, they really do work! I still use them!
I’m headed back to the book now. Wish me great pages and I wish you a great day!


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