By Jaime McDougall
Okay. The house is quiet – as quiet as it will ever get, anyway – and it’s time to write. No distractions, just pure writing time. Pure writing time that you have been waiting for so long. Now you can get cracking on the current work in progress and –
Hey! Look! Is that snow? I think that’s snow. Gosh, the first snow of the season. Lovely. Oh, shoot. Did I forget to do laundry? I haven’t even thought about dinner tonight...
No one can procrastinate like writers can. We’re a strange bunch; when it comes to actually sitting down and writing, our attention span suddenly morphs into that of a hummingbird’s. Scrubbing the kitchen floor never looks as appealing as it does when you have your novel to work on.
Some writers have no problems with this. Or so I’ve heard.
I’m a procrastinator of the highest order. If I have time, I’m tired. If I’m not tired, I have other things to do. If I don’t have other things to do, I don’t have the right notebook, pen, lighting, chair... Yeah, I’ve even used the chair excuse.
Don’t take this to mean that I don’t love writing. I do. However, when you get a case of the Evil Editors playing with your brain and let them win once, it’s like you give bunnies Viagra and set them loose; suddenly, the next time you go to write, you have thousands of Evil Editors in your brain telling you why you suck. A lot.
After my Evil Editors grew to plague numbers, I decided to come up with three things to help me focus:
1. Remind yourself that all you are doing is playing games with yourself.
2. Ask yourself what you’re so afraid of.
3. If the EEs still exist, give them room to roam on a blank page. Then pick them off in any way you choose.
I prefer a machete.