Tuesday, June 23, 2009

grinding graph

I spent two hours today writing a single paragraph. One usable paragraph. I actually wrote more than one, but they were awful.

I hate writing.

The toughest part is starting. No, actually, the toughest part is after you decide to start, when you get all settled in your chair, with the right documents open and the right music playing, and you're brain completely freezes up. That sucks.

I've gone through all kinds of routines to trick myself into writing. This time around I'm using "Dark Star" to get me going. I pick a version of the song, which is typically about a half hour long and force myself to sit at the computer in a writer's pose for the duration of it. Lately I've been doing this four times.

So far it's working, sort of. Five or ten minutes in, I manage to write a sentence. Often that's enough to keep me going. The downside is that I only wind up writing one paragraph, maybe two, during one version of the song.

Here's hoping a month of this will be enough to give me a draft of proposal.


Newspaper Fugitive said...

Take it from me, you're not alone. I have spent the past two WEEKS writing an article only meant to be 1,200 words long. I know the material, I know what I want to say, I have the reporting done, I just. can't. write. it.

It's not that I can't write PERIOD. I have no problem writing long emails to my friends, commenting on your blog, or updating my Facebook status five or six times a day. I just can't write this particular thing.

What I need is a Web browser that can figure out which sites I need for my article and filters out everything else. Something that can read my mind, in other words, and make up for my lack of willpower to just knuckle under and do it.

OK, now that I've commented here, I can clear my mind to focus. I'll just zip over to gawker to make sure I'm not missing anything funny. Then to HuffPo, of course. By then I'll have to check my email. And my status update will be two hours old ... but after all THAT, I'll be ready to crank. After dinner, that is ...

Applecart T. said...

Yes, writing what one really doesn't have in one's heart (or knows the grammar for … ones / one's — ack!) is the most torturous thing. Should we all go off and become poets, then? : ) It carries its own pain, fiction/poetry, but it feels different (to me).

Thank Deadlines, though! That's usually what gets it done (and then you look back and say, I wish I had more time now because I'm on a roll and this could be so much better … alas, sunrise comes, then 9 a.m. and EDITOR WANTS IT NOW, so, attach, send-button and off it goes : )