What do you do when the last thing you want to do is write?
For me, there's no time this is more likely to occur than when I've committed to write something. Once I've promised to complete a project—whether that commitment is to a class, a publisher, or someone else—I suddenly feel like I'm walking underwater. My inner child rebels: But wait, what if I don't want to do that? Now I have to?! I find every reason to suddenly make the most complicated carrot cauliflower soup recipe I can find on the Internet. And I don't even really like soup.
I've experienced this sensation this week. I was plagued with self-doubt this week as I worked on my next novel, and yet, I did manage to 25 (handwritten) pages. Part of me is proud of this and part of me thinks I should have written more. But the proud voice is nicer and a better companion as I sit here typing this with a glass of wine, so I'm choosing to listen to *her.*
In the vein of celebrating those 25 pages that didn't exist before this week...how did I eke those out?
By sitting down and writing.
Just kidding—I hate when people try to make it as simple as a command (even though it may be true).
How I actually did it was by letting myself have fun. When I wanted to write in limited third then suddenly switch to a different character's limited third then BOOM—snap into omniscient just so I could make a foreshadowing remark as the narrator, I let myself. I let myself write two pages of dialogue with nothing else, no context or single use of "said". I created a silly hobby for one character just because it struck me as a funny thing for him to do.
Since when I sat down to write, I would fill with a kind of dread-fear-worry mashup, I rewarded myself for taking that on by letting myself be playful on the page.
While I don't yet know if this particular week's writing will make the final cut come revision time, I do know that by consciously trying to have fun when I sit down to write, I remember how to be creative in the first place. In other words, a commitment to having fun with words is, in effect, a commitment to let creativity do the driving. It's a sneaky way of stepping out of the way.
So this weekend, I hope, if you find time to write, you enjoy yourself. It makes it all the more likely your reader will enjoy reading your words, too.
PS - There's a giveaway on Goodreads this month for my upcoming novel—we're giving away 50 early copies, so your odds are high if you enter! :)