I always startle my students by announcing that I don’t like to write. I think they probably assume: Surely a writing teacher must just love to write!
I do not like to write because writing is hard work, including writing a blog. But like so many other writers, I love to have written. I also like the fact that through writing, I can deliver helpful information to others.
Here’s what happens when I sit down to write: I immediately have writer’s block. As I preach in my classes, one antidote to writer’s block is getting compulsive about my task. So I set my timer for one hour; chain myself to my desk (well, not literally); and write until the bell rings. Then I reward myself by biking to the gym so I can work out.
When I return to the my writing task again, I repeat the “chaining” event and treat myself again when I am done.
Corny? Yes. Effective? Yes. You’re reading this, aren’t you? I’ll do anything necessary to bribe myself to do what I must. And when your comments and feedback roll in, I’ll be glad I made the effort.
Prolific author Judy Blume shares her thoughts on how writing is like a puzzle: “I’m a rewriter. That’s the part I like best . . . once I have a pile of paper to work with, it’s like having the pieces of a puzzle. I just have to put the pieces together to make a picture.” But you must have the pieces of writing BEFORE you can put them together into a bigger document!
What are you waiting for?