What to do when you can’t write: make a list of what to do when you can’t write….

This morning I’ve been sitting at my computer thinking: What is wrong with me? Why can’t I write? Why are there so many inane distractions in this world? In my office even! So this is what I came up with, hoping to kick my butt all the way back to my manuscript. I’m going to put a check mark (being a teacher and all) beside each thing I do right in the upper list.

And then I started thinking: Oh great, another distraction from writing – write a list. BUT, I’m also writing a blog entry, which is on my list, so that counts for one check mark. Ha!  Tick! And “write a list” is on my list. Tick!

Shit. I really have to get writing…..

Here’s my list….

SO, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH YOURSELF. YOU’RE UNABLE TO WRITE, AND YOU’RE FACEBOOKING, OR WAITING FOR SOMEONE, ANYONE, TO SEND YOU A MESSAGE. PROBABLY YOU’RE JUST STARING AT THE SCREEN LIKE A BOZO. HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS ….

  1. JUST WRITE!!!! WORK ON YOUR GODDAMNED MANUSCRIPT! (not specific enough)
  2. Create a new scene for Who Shall I Be Today?.
  3. Make a list. It’s better than nothing.
  4. Make changes from workshop notes to End of the Rope.
  5. Work on a short story, 1200-1600 words for CBC.
  6. Work on your query letter and chapter summary for other agents.
  7. Update outline for Section 2: Pentecostal Years.
  8. Work on outline for Section 3: When You Can’t Save ‘Em, Join ‘Em.
  9. Prepare short story for Banff anthology.
  10. Read a passage from a book by an author you emulate – like Jo Ann Beard.
  11. Write: I AM A WRITER! WRITERS WRITE! Fifty times.
  12. Get out the markers and stickies and huge roll of paper and PLAY with words, scenes, ideas, charts, timelines, webs….
  13. Write a blog entry.
  14.  Go for a bike ride to knock your brain around.
  15. Go for a run with your notepad and pencil.
  16. Go for a walk. Anything! Don’t just SIT there!

IF YOU DON’T DO ONE OF THE ABOVE, YOU WILL HAVE TO GO BELOW…

  1. Wash the walls.
  2. Paint the walls.
  3. Clean out the fridge.
  4. Clean toilets.
  5. Organize the crawl space. (NO! NOT THE CRAWL SPACE!)
  6. SUBSTITUTE TEACH!!!
  7. GET A FULL-TIME TEACHING JOB!!!!!

SO MAYBE YOU SHOULD WORK ON YOUR GODDAMNED MANUSCRIPT!!!

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