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When what you want to do most is write–and what you want to do least is write

When it seems like you’ll do anything and everything rather than show up at the page, turn to Jerry Oltion’s 50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work. His piece is full of gems. Here’s the intro:

Work avoidance is one of the major paradoxes of the writing profession. Generally, writers want to write (or want to have written), but all too often we find ourselves doing anything else but. We’ll mow lawns, do the dishes, polish silverware–anything to keep from facing the blank page. At the same time we know we eventually have to get to work, so we come up with all sorts of strategies for forcing ourselves to the keyboard.

Read Oltion’s stragies and the full peice here. Then, get to work!

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great link, thanks for sharing. Frankly though, my worst problem isn’t the writing. Its figuring out how to save my hero when I’ve gotten her into so much trouble I can’t possibly think of a way to get her out again >.<

    Can you maybe write a post about that?

    March 9, 2009
  2. cathy #

    that’s funny, uninvoked, i’m great at writing my characters away from the situations they need to face! i guess that’s the same issue i have with facing the blank page mentioned above – i’ll do anything to keep from facing it.

    March 9, 2009
  3. cathy #

    *Form a support/nagging network of other writers.

    this is us, right?

    March 9, 2009
  4. LOL Cathy, we are nothing if not supportive/nagging. 🙂

    To answer uninvoked’s question about writing your character out of trouble…

    I’ve been there. Got my main character in a whole mess of trouble and had to get her out, but didn’t like my (mostly boring) ideas or the path I had her on.

    I went to a writer’s conference and posed this question to a published author during one of the sessions and he conducted an impromptu brainstorming session for me right there. It was basically, this is the character, this is her problem, what might happen to resolve this scenario? The suggestions ranged from the mundane to the bizarre, but a lot of times, unusual and bizarre work well in fiction, whereas normal and ordinary do not. So the solution I came up with was waaaaaay out of the ordinary, and was tremendously fun to write, and that crazy solution opened up my thinking to even more crazy solutions and before I knew it, the ending of my book just kind of came together.

    My advice is to ask yourself “What is the craziest thing I can think of that can happen to my character to solve her problem?” Then write that scene, and dial the craziness way up. Go totally ballistic with the fiction. Entertain yourself. Once it’s done, tweak as neccessary. You might decide it’s too over the top, so you dial it down. You may think, “Oh, no, this would never happen to my character… this is more likely…” So you write that scene.

    When you’re unsure of resolution, you’ve got to play with it a little to make it right.

    March 9, 2009
  5. thank you thank you – how good! and also.. soothing to share this, for me, agressive impulse to do anything but…write 🙂

    March 10, 2009
  6. Kristine #

    What I like most about this list is that there’s something for everyone, no matter what kind of writer.

    Great stuff.

    March 10, 2009

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