Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sit & Give Me 2500 Words, You S.O.B.

Yesterday, as the weather in Texas reached the lower 70's after too many days in the high 20's, I went outside to exercise. As I slogged up hills, down winding paths, and across miles of sidewalks I had an epiphany.  

Writing and exercise have a lot in common. Both require time, commitment and dedication. When I walk/jog or lift weights I have to force myself to push just a little harder. To achieve words on the page, I have to make myself sit, write and pretend the Internet (with all its many distractions) was never invented. This resulted in a second, more sobering realization. 

I am better at encouraging myself to exercise than to write.

Oh, I sit down to write every day. However, my production of new pages is inconsistent. Some days I manage 500 words. Others 300. The worse are my goose egg days where I tell myself editing is just as important as achieving new words on paper.*

Yet, when I exercise I manage to walk/jog the same distance as I achieved before; I complete the same number of reps I did last time. Why can't I do that with my writing? 

I decided I need a better muse. Not some woosie Tinkerbell who says "Bless his heart, he's trying" but a drill sergeant bastard who screams "Sit and give me 2500 words!" 

What about you? What inspires you to apply-butt-to-chair and produce new words?      

*Yes, I know editing is a crucial part of the overall process, but it's not the same as seeing new words that become new stories. Besides, I'm a re-writer at heart. I enjoy editing whereas the act of creating brand, new fresh sentences from nothingness has always been a struggle for me.  

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