Monday, November 1, 2010

Writing when you don't want to

Now hold on just a minute there.

Alright, I'm ready.

Normally, I let myself work myself up: "Now? No, no, later. Now? Yeah, alright, now." And that's when I write.

But lately I've been trying to write when I'm not ready to - and it works great. So often, it's easy to write off writing because the mood ain't up to snuff; but really, the mood is only a matter of that prickly thing, the Will. When I just Sit-it-and-Hit-it - my bum, and the keyboard, respectively - I usually produce pretty respectable stuff.

This strategy is working really well right now, since I'm writing a first, "discovery" draft of a novel. A couple hundred words of blather every few hours adds up. Actually, it adds up to a surprising amount; which means in the long run, I'll have to cut a lot, too.

And I'm alright with that, because it means I spewed up a lot of stuff earlier, and later, I'll get to pick the nicest chunks.

Let it be repeated - or, maybe, said for the first time - that I don't think I'm producing sub-par stuff or "forcing" myself to write. If it's ("it's") not there, it's not there; but if I just don't feel like writing, I'm not hurting myself any to try forcing my hand at a few hundred words. Sometimes, it's crud, and sometimes, it's jewels; sometimes, it's a few dozen sentences, and other times, a few dozen paragraphs. Ultimately, it just adds up to The Goods: more writing in my Completed folder.

How about you folks? Do you ever Force Imperatives upon Yourself-as-Tyrannized-Subject?



  1. Force Imperatives upon Yourself-as-Tyrannized-Subject is my middle name.

  2. Yeah, if I didn't force myself to write, I doubt I'd ever get anything done. Those first 200 words are killer, but that, it's usually not so bad. If I'm still going after I hit the 1.5k mark, I can usually hit 3k or 4k no problem (provided a couple more hours of uninterrupted writing time).