Okay. Let strategize! Once the decision to write has been made, it’s time for preparation and implementation. Throughout time (and space) writers have had many different ways of preparing for work. Some stay in bed in their pajamas and dictate. Some get up early and then lie down on the couch. Trollope wrote something like 200,000 words before he went to his day job. Many prepare coffee. Some feel the need to loosen their tongues with something a bit stronger. Some sharpen pencils.
It appears to be a thing of routine. A setting of the table. Marking the calendar. Setting the alarm. For me, routine is a good thing, but something I always forget about after two or three days. That’s where my daily list comes in. Let me find one here on the desk… It reads: laundry, orders, Roy at 4, groceries. Even though this was a list for yesterday, I’m adding, Write. And now I get to cross it off because I actually did write yesterday. That’s satisfying.
Once you get in the groove and you are writing on whatever is a regular basis, you may find that the satisfaction outweighs any reluctance you might have had before. It’s important to just go with whatever you’ve set yourself up for — writing in the bath, after the kids go to bed or before they get up, on every cloudy day, each morning with coffee, once in the morning and once in the afternoon (yes, it’s possible!). You may have a special touchstone that encourages you or a special pen, you might be outside by the pool (you lucky devil) or at the laundromat. It doesn’t matter.
Whatever it takes is worth doing. If a doughnut is necessary, so be it. Though after a couple of months, you may have to make an adjustment to carrot sticks. When one has prepared and is in front of that paper or computer screen, it’s time for a deep breath and then, like the graceful diver you are inside, rise up, and let go.
It’s that groove, that routine, that special feeling that you are searching for. Don’t deny yourself this incredible pleasure. It only seems like a burden, when you are not doing it. Each letter, each word, each sentence that comes out of the pen is a triumph of you and your imagination over entropy or simple sloth. Savor it. Dare it to continue. As Will Powers says, Make it habit, make it happen. Once you’re rolling, let it continue. Maintain that fine balance, breath the fresh air and keep going until the wheels start wobbling and you finally have to bring your feet back down to the ground.
Keep writing. Have fun.
* Words of Note — pajamas, touchstone, sloth, savor, wobble.