Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Do Something, Do More, Keep Doing It

OK, I'm going to admit it. I've been in a writing slump. It's not for lack of work: I'm working on three book proposals, one of which my agent's eager to get out like yesterday, and then there's the hefty bit of magazine work I've lined up for July, along with the Chicago One-On-One conference, which I'm very eager to attend for the first time.

But ... I sit down to work and seem to lose steam. After a couple hours of drinking coffee, surfing the Web (why do I care that Lindsay Lohan and Sean Combs bickered over VIP seats in a nightclub?), and spasmodically checking my e-mail, I start beating myself up: why am I not more productive? How come I haven't pitched anything to editors this week? When will I get these proposals finished if I continue indulging in this slug-like behavior?

Rather than fall back into the cycle of goofing-off/beating-myself-up, today I did some Web surfing on how to fix a writing slump and found this article by Bob Bly, one of my writing heroes, about how to save yourself from the pit: 1. Do something. 2. Do more 3. Keep doing it. Absolutely brilliant advice, which I quickly wrote down on the whiteboard in my office ... and better yet, kept in mind whenever temptation to dive into the slough of despond beckoned.

Good to know that I'm not the only one that has been having the same writing slump. Despite having work to do, something inside me just doesn't want to be in front of the computer.
The paralysis really sets in sometimes when I sit down at my computer in the a.m. Even after I have a good talk with myself about it the night before and ALL the work I'm going to get done the next day (writing, as well as house and child stuff) ... and then I get overwhelmed because I know my expectations are unrealistic. I think I'll cut back on my expectations and follow Bob's advice! Thanks for sharing it!
I have been sitting at my computer for two hours and have exactly nothing but this comment to show for it. Time to get my butt in gear and just do something. Anything. Really.
It's so comforting to hear successful writers go through slumps, too. I'm in one right now. Three assignments but haven't really been working on them. Sigh. I will put Bly's advice to use and see if that helps.
There is really so much to do on a computer - - email, read blogs, read the news, surf around -- I have my little morning ritual and sometimes it takes me a long time to get to the writing stage! Sometimes one just has to put the writing first, I guess!
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