So I was chatting with my friend Alana last night. I mentioned that I was trying to come up with some ideas for regular blog posts. Mostly in an effort to get myself writing again…I said I had been super stuck. But then I had to be more honest than that because “stuck” isn’t the right word. I haven’t been stuck, I’ve been avoiding, I’ve just not made space or time for my writing, I’ve busied myself with other things…so naturally there has been no progress on any of my projects. She, being a genuinely kind and generous person, commiserated with me about how that felt. Then she asked me how I had shifted that situation in the past. I confessed that in the past only two things had ever really had any impact on me when I get in this place of avoidance. One was very involved and particular and required other people to just happen to offer up something that was uniquely designed for my needs. The other was hand writing three pages a day of anything, just stream of consciousness writing. Her response?
“Three pages it is.”
She laughed. I laughed.
Then just as I started to make an excuse about how I couldn’t seem to make the time for this very, very small exercise I realized something that I hadn’t before…I have always thought I had to do that writing first thing in the morning. Now the main reason for that is the same reason most people exercise in the morning. If you do it first thing you don’t let other tasks derail you from it. But mornings are tough for me. They are hurried and involve a fairly long commute in my car so delaying leaving for work isn’t a good idea and the brutal truth is I’m not really a morning person. I am already getting up as early as I can stand (which is between 5 AM and 6 AM which I really do find to be horrifying). But it dawned on me that the power of the writing is not WHEN it’s done it’s simply that it GETS DONE. So I admitted this to Alana and said that I was going to go home and do those damn three pages tonight. Then she, again being just one helluva an awesome friend, said that I should tell her when I had done the pages and she would do a dance of joy in my honor. Well I’m no fool…I am not one to turn down a dance of joy in my honor.
So I did my pages.
And they worked. Just like I knew they would…by the second page I was thinking up plot solutions for one of my WIPs, I was finding ways to make the conflict work better and changing the relationships so that they mattered more and increased the emotional investment overall.
Then I texted Alana and told her I had written my pages.
She danced and there was more joy in the world than there had been a moment before.
I am one lucky woman.