Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tick Tock, Tick Tock Ignore The Clock

Howdy All,

My original post for today I decided to do away with and go with this idea instead. WARNING: It's a pep-talk/encouragement post, all who do NOT want to be encouraged read no further. (Although, I suspect we all want encouragement at one time or another, so keep reading).

Okay, here's the scenario:

You're sitting at your computer staring at the blinking cursor of a blank screen and your mind says "AAAAAAHHHHHHH!" This goes on for about 1/2 an hour. You can see the seconds, the minutes, the hours going by...still nothing. "Oy vay!" you think, "I'm supposed to be writing for five hours and it's been almost two and I still have nothing!"


The clock isn't your friend when you're struggling with writer's block. It's not even your muse. It's working against you. It's a conspiracy to make you think you can't get anything done. I'm telling you: IGNORE THAT CLOCK.

What should you be doing?

Well Todd Stone says write anything. Even if it's gonna be deleted tomorrow. Todd Stone says that you can't write anything wrong because you're going to improve it.

Yes. You will improve that terrible paragraph that goes on for 15 sentences about what a chair looks like. That is, you will, when you revise and edit. For now, you're trying to get the story on the page.

It's been three hours. WHAT? YOU LOOKED AT THE CLOCK AGAIN?! NO!

The clock doesn't exist. The only thing that exists is you and your story. Get away from the computer if you have to. Get up and read a book--sometimes that triggers creativity.

Get up and dance the hula--okay, you might feel funny doing it, but if you close the blinds and do it while no one is at home, who's gonna see you? Go ahead, stand up and shake that thang!

You know the song: "You gotta move it move it"

Or that other one that goes "Shake your groove thang."

Or KC & The Sunshine band: "Shake, shake, shake, shake your booty, shake your booty"

"You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about!"

Come on! Who bloody cares if you look silly? The point is, you're working out your imagination, you're pulling out all the stops. And, you're ignoring the clock. (You don't even have to tell anyone that you went around dancing the hula or shaking your booty to get your creative juices flowing. That can be your little secret).

Like my friend, Michelle W. (Shout out to Michelle!) and I say: "WHOOPEE!" Shout your "WHOOPEE!" out loud and remember, it's okay to look foolish, you're a writer, remember? It's about pushing that creativity to the surface and pushing aside those fears.

You're serious about your writing. You're professional. That's great, you should be.

But when you're shaking up your imagination, you don't have to be serious or professional, you just have to let it free flow.

Remember: You're gonna improve that manuscript in the revision, rewriting and editing portion.

Right now, it's all about getting that story going. Exercising that imagination. Get those creative juices flowing!

Okay, so I sound like an exercise DVD (like Leslie Sassone says: "I just know you're feeling great." Usually she says that at the point and time that I'm thinking "What am I, nuts? I'm so out of breath I feel like I've done gone lost my mind doing this!")

So you lost your head for a few minutes there...but now your imagination is kicking in. You're riding a high, you're feeling great, you're feeling invigorated (okay, maybe slightly foolish, but imagine how I feel writing this post LOL).

Laugh it off, and let that writing flow. Let the creativity overpower the self-consciousness and go for it!

Now, how do you get your creativity flowing? Do you get up and do what I said in this post or do you stare at the clock pleading "Please, please, please something come to me!"?

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!


Stephanie Faris said...

Great advice. Sometimes I've found getting out a book and typing what someone else wrote gets me in the groove of writing. I have no idea why. Then I toss it aside, erase everything I've typed, and start writing mine.

bethanyintexas said...


Well, sometimes we don't know why we do what we do, but sometimes it does help to write something else and let your mind focus on something unrelated, then suddenly there's a trigger and away you go! :-)

Bane of Anubis said...

If I'm not actively writing, I'll take a break and do something else (or, I'll sit back and think about the plot/characters/etc, or, I'll go back and edit).

bethanyintexas said...


Yep, definitely good ideas :-)

kanishk said...

I toss it aside, erase everything I've typed, and start writing mine.

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