Not every one of my blogs is an upbeat slice of life, or a revelation, or news of another book. There are times, like today, when I don’t know what to write about ’cause my mind is spinning with things to do. It’s like having squirrels juggle knives inside my head.
That’s not my line, by the way. Check out “Crash & Burn” by Abi Roux for a good read and a pocketful of bon mots. I have no clever lines today of my own, though. It’s not even that the “dreaded white screen” is staring me. It is, but I don’t mind. I know where the story is going and I know the words to use. When I write, though, I have trouble getting inside my character’s head and my product is “just typing” instead of “writing.” It doesn’t inspire me when I reread it, but I can’t tell whether or not it truly sucks, because we’re the our own worst critics. I might ask a friend to give it a look before I send it out. For now, I’m just trudging on.
On days like this, writing doesn’t happen several thousand words at a time. I count myself lucky if it happens in a chunk of several hundred. It’s humbling. I don’t think this has ever happened to me before. I’m not blocked, I’m just “not in the mood.” It’s kind of like no discipline, like not showing up at the gym, like not planting those vegetable seeds. (I could go to the gym! Or garden outside despite the temperature in the 40’s and the threat of rain and snow.) See? I’m already making excuses.
A compromise, then. I’ll set a kitchen timer for a hour, get myself a pot of tea, and I won’t move out of that writing chair until the timer goes off. Internet off, only the Word document open. I may look out the window at the leaden clouds hanging over what could be my vegetable garden. I can count errant snowflakes land on periwinkle blossoms. One thing I may not do is move that ass out of that chair before an hour is up.
Hopefully I’ll be so bored, I’ll visit with my characters again and have a conversation worth writing down.