Over on Bruce Black’s blog, Wordswimmer, there’s an interesting interview with Phyllis Root about her writing process that made me think, “Yeah, that’s me” several times. Especially the part about how she says she’s much nicer when she’s been writing than when she’s been avoiding it.
Avoiding writing? I am definitely guilty. Even when I’m in the mood to write, and I’m determined to finish my first draft, I still have trouble getting those first few words down. I make all kinds of mental excuses…
1. I just have to check my e-mail. Yeah right. Like I’m so popular I’ve gotten 15 urgent messages since five minutes ago when I last checked.
2. First, I need to find that __________. Fill in the blank with the desperately-needed item of choice. Of course, it doesn’t matter what the “thing” is, because it’s not exactly a life or death drama if it doesn’t appear right now during my writing time.
3. There might be something interesting on ________’s blog. Ahem. Do I really want to waste my precious writing time checking out blogs? Not that I don’t enjoy reading blogs and other writing-related stuff, but there’s a time and a place. And it’s not when I’m about to get started on my own writing.
4. I’ll just make one call, and then I’ll get started. Except one call takes at least half an hour. Then, by the time I find my story notes, open the file and get my brain going, writing time has pretty much evaporated.
What do you do to avoid writing? Any tips for making use of the time you’ve set aside for writing to…I don’t know…actually write?