With thanks to a writing instructor, who gifted us a sheet of paper with some of his favorite writing advice quotes on the final day of our workshop:
Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace, or the emptiness of our bank account. The enemy is resistance. The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do. –Steve Pressman
I admit this is the only work of Pressman’s I’ve yet read. However, even if I never read another word, that’s good stuff.
Writing Demons–What Gets in Our Way
It’s that time of the year for many demons to rear their heads. My current writing demons involve the usual existential/financial dilemmas of the freelancer. What’s that about a bank account, Pressman? Plus my #1 writing bugaboo, all the unfinished crap I have lying around in note format or in partial drafts on my computer, haunting me like food poisoning.
Here’s a useful nugget I found in a writing advice book at the library yesterday:
Patterns for Completion
- Think of your patterns of finishing things and draw out the patterns. Write down every element or strategy you typically use. Use as many examples of finishing things you can. Combine the best of any or all of them.
- Make a plan to use the same strategies and structures to get your writing project done.
Patterns for Not Finishing
- Write down the elements of your not finishing pattern [space for at least seven].
- Any time you find yourself doing any part of your not finishing pattern in relationship to your writing, go back to your competence, solution, or finishing patterns and instead do one thing in those patterns.
What are your writing demons? Here’s to getting sh*t done this holiday season.