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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

    My name is James Black. I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Friend and/or follow me if you like.

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Transitions flummox me. I sit there. Metaphorically, physically, emotionally, whateverly, I get stuck for a while.

In an elementary school science class, I learned about inertia. To put it in a less-than-nuanced way, inertia means what’s going keeps going until it’s stopped; what’s stopped remains stopped until something gets it going.

Inertia should not be a problem for me since I’m not an inanimate object. But sometimes I’m just a lump of stuckness and can’t help it. I have spent years resolving to make a plan to counter my chronic inertia. I’ve taken advantage of every kind of new year I can think of to reset my resolution: Calendar new year. Jewish new year. Fiscal new year.

So it’s early January, and I’m once again trying my workable, relatively effective plan: do something. It’s the conceptual equivalent of running in place, but at least it gets the blood moving.

Last week, after bemoaning how I haven’t written poetry in, like, forever, I sat in bed with my notebook and pen. I was feeling drowsy and wanted to do some reading, so I almost didn’t bother. There’s so much I want to do, I risk doing nothing but consuming what others have done. But I managed to force out six lines. The next night, I did it again and wrote five more. There are two, maybe three, worth puzzling over, building on. And I will.

I’ve tried the same technique with my novel. If I feel stuck, I do something, anything. Keeping going is key. Every time I roll to a stop, I remember that.


One Response

  1. I know pushing myself is harder than pushing others. I have given myself a target of a 1000 words a month, and taken up free-writing with a vengeance.

    Stuckness is not your problem alone, millions of people suffer with you. It is just that we writers have the luxury of being stuck and the creative side of our brain has been relentlessly trained to stay stuck.

    Always needs a push to get going. I’ve found myself a writing buddy who has no such stuckness problems, and has begun to hound me to write. This has worked so far. I did write my 1000 words yesterday.

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