Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From Burned Out to On Fire!

In the last twenty-four hours I have gone from thinking that my new possible book project is terrible, hopeless, boring, and bad to thinking that it is lively, fresh, and pretty terrific. What happened to make me change my mind about it? Here's what happened: I sat down and actually started WRITING IT.

What a difference actual writing makes!

I could hardly get myself out of bed this morning to write on something so unpromising, but I remembered my own blog post of just YESTERDAY about making luck by showing up, so I dragged myself over to the Blue Door Cafe, ordered my hot chocolate with whipped cream (lots of it) and chocolate shavings on top, and I started writing chapter two, following yesterday's lackluster, ho-hum chapter one. All of a sudden I started being funny. And I started having fun. By the time I ordered my French toast, an hour later, I knew that for better or worse, I'm going to finish this book. It may or not be published, or even publishable. The first chapter still is fairly dull. So what? I can go back and fix that later. I've already written chapter three. I think I'll write chapter four this afternoon, perhaps sitting by the Christmas tree at the Inn at DePauw next door to my little house.

Just write, just write, just write. That's all you have to do. Really. IT'S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO. Your Muse is tearing her hair out right now, because she has such wonderful gifts to offer you, but there you sit, a lump on a log, stubbornly doing SOMETHING ELSE when you could be writing. She can't make you write, poor thing. But she can make magical things happen when you finally pick up your pen.


  1. I had almost exactly the same experience yesterday, except that I make the following substitutions:
    writing -> calculating
    hot chocolate -> Coca-Cola
    French toast -> loud heavy metal music in my headphones
    lackluster -> misplaced negative sign