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This week's question: 

How do I write when I don’t want to write?

Sandra from Hawaii

This week's Answer: 

Good question, Sandra.  (I almost didn’t answer it, though, because I didn’t want to write.)  Honestly, it is an exceptional inquiry because all of us writers travel through the Apathetic Forest when it comes to getting something down on paper (or up on monitor).

The truth is (and I kid you not), at this very moment, my Inner Cheerleader doesn’t seem to be showing up for the game, but there’s enough of me (you might want to pay attention to those words) that wants to get this answer to you.  That “enough of me” (enough of you) part that wants to write may often seem very distant or even nonexistent, but you can find it when you need it.  And don’t kid yourself, much of writing, is just that:  need.  Need to express oneself.  Need to make a deadline (imposed from without or within, “within” being the case for me for this composition).  Need for a paycheck.  (Often, not in that order of importance).  Certainly, by all means, isolate yourself in a bucolic log cabin with your favorite coffee and Mr. Whiskers, seeking that inspiration that will transport you to the stage of the Academy Awards (“I’d like to thank the Academy and my cat.  Oh yes.  And my agent.  Oh, and that genius of a script consultant extraordinaire, Dc -- Sorry about that.  I wax bombastic.)  But I wouldn’t depend on those rustic or any-other-motivational moments to guarantee you that final “FADE OUT.”

Here’s a technique (more like a trick) I use to get my author’s engine going.  It’s a form of nonresistance (something that Occidental teachings support highly).  Because I have found that it is resistance that is the major culprit in Writer’s (not “block,” but, rather:) Standstill (I like that one better).  It is the act of resisting that you do as the writer that is the actual problem.  (Or “nonwriter” if you’re not writing in the present moment.  Remember:  you can go to fancy restaurants and parties and tell everybody you’re a writer.  But, truth to tell, actually, at that moment, you’re more like a gabber or a chatterer-about-being-a-writer instead of being home writing.).  The process to get back in the Writer’s Saddle is such:  First, completely accept the fact that you do not want to write.  Don’t fight that awareness.  Say to yourself something like this:  “I don’t want to write.” (Expecting something more profound or esoteric, huh?)  Then:  (and this is the key) “I don’t have to write.”  Or:  “I can choose not to write.” (and you don’t).  When you allow yourself to know that you don’t have to write, a miraculous thing can happen:  You’ll realize that, now that there is no apparently outside force forcing you to write, you WANT to write.  (You can even pretend that you were ordered that you are not permitted to write.  That’s a real good one for us passive-aggressive types.)  Maybe even more importantly, you LOVE to write.   (A necessary sentiment to be a prolific writer.)  I have found that, if you employ this modus operandi, you can go through a light year-accelerated “morph,” recalling and reclaiming that initial, uplifting excitement about your craft when you move into that “writerus operandi.”

 Happy (or “Non-resisting) writing, Sandra!


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