Friday, January 11, 2013

Inertia? Shoo!

Howdy, Campers!  Welcome...or welcome back to TeachingAuthors' cozy winter cabin!

"All things are possible until they are proved impossible--
and even the impossible may only be so, as of now." ~ Pearl Buck

First order of business...the winner of TeachingAuthors' first book giveaway of 2013 (see Carmela's January 2nd post) is Pam Courtney, who follows our blog via email.  She's won Luke Reynold's book, Keep Calm and Query On. Congratulations, Pam!

We TeachingAuthors have been talking about how to get back to writing after a break.

Jill's found it liberating to give herself the holidays off from writing...and then to stop fretting, schedule writing time and give herself permission to write dog doo (I'm paraphrasing here). Jeanne Marie  has found it useful to take a nap before leaping into her most productive writing hours of the day.

For me, there is something sneaky-guilty and oddly energizing about avoiding writing by, say, running a political campaign, taking care of my aging uncle or preparing for a class. I can defend the barricades in the name of the French Revolution if I'm thereby avoiding working on my picture book manuscript.

After the Revolution...or, less excitingly, after driving 92-year-old Uncle Davie to the doctor, my inertia sets in.

  Eli has graciously offered to demonstrate inertia for you:

I asked two friends in two different professions, how do you get back to work after the holidays?

They both blurted out "FlyLady!"  In this post, Fly Lady suggests setting a timer for 15 minutes and doing 15 minutes of WHATEVER (clear clutter, take out the trash,'s an idea: write).  

It's like breaking through the fear of writing by keeping a One-Minute Journal; I can do anything for one minute.

Another way I make writing a top priority is being accountable to a Writing Buddy.  Oh, and getting off the internet.  :-)

So, go on...get off the internet. Set a timer. Pick out a half-completed story or start a new one.  Start 2013 feeling that all things are possible.

And last but not least, thanks to Renee at No Water River for hosting Poetry Friday today!

Uh...Eli wanted to show you another position for inertia, for extra credit:


Renee LaTulippe said...

Wow, did I need to read this! I don't need help after the holidays, I need help 24/7. I have springs in my butt. I bake cakes. I drink a ridiculous amount of tea. I read stupid news items. I eat cakes. Why is writing so excruciating?

I've just subscribed and am off to read about the fear of writing. Thank you for the inspiration - and thanks to Eli, too. Those pics are hysterical!

Angela Verges said...

Thanks, I needed that. I'm going to try setting a timer.

Bridget Magee said...

Fun post with suggestions I can put into action today! Ready...timer set...get off the internet! =)

Jeanette W. Stickel said...

Great post! I was looking for inspiration before sitting down to write and I see that I came to the right place.

Author Amok said...

Agreed. Getting back on track after the holidays, all the kids home, etc, is a challenge. I've couldn't wait to return to my regular-day-routine.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Renee (today's Poetry Friday hostess with the most-est),Angela, Bridget, Jeanette, and Laura (aka Author Amok)--thank you so much for stopping by! I have to say that my perfectionism set in last night and I was tweaking-tweaking-tweaking this post...still unhappy with it when it finally posted.

So I guess another way to get going is to have a deadline...and then supportive writer friends to pat you on the back and tell you that you did fine...


Linda at teacherdance said...

I love the "I can do anything for a minute, April." And "I need to get off the internet." I really don't have any deadline, nor do I even think about the possibility, but your post made me realize that I do need to set some goals for myself. Thanks for the boost! And thank Eli, too, although that sofa looks awfully inviting.

Margaret Simon said...

In this week's New Yorker, John Mcphee writes about inertia. He once spent two weeks lying on a picnic table looking up at the sky unable to begin a writing project. And he's John McPhee!
I like the idea of a timer. My students work well with a timer. Sometimes, they ask me to extend it or they are so involved in their writing that they don't even hear it go off. We, too, can achieve this flow, if we just put our butts in the chair.

Ruth said...

Thanks for this! Unfortunately, I need it all too much!

Violet N. said...

I like your practical ideas. I have a timer in my office just for exercises such as you describe. It's amazing how you can get into something when you've bribed yourself with 'just half an hour' or whatever amount of time.

The photos of your relaxed pooch are a hoot!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Linda--hello,dear and faithful follower!

Margaret--I just heard about the McPhee article a few days ago--I love that image!

Ruth and Violet, thanks for taking the time to comment.

Now I'm heading off-line to write today's poem. My topic? Our incredibly productive Meyer Lemon Tree.

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam said...

Yaay, I won! Thank you so much for the contest and the wonderful prize. I am so grateful for this post. I need this type of advise, DESPERATELY! I must say that I have found working with a timer sets a special "time is of the essence" mode. And it can be quite productive. I must revisit this kind of writing practice. Thanks again!

Lori Norman said...

Thanks for the fun and the reality check with suggestions! Could I borrow Eli?