Apr 11

J is for Just do it

No excuses, no apologies, no pleading ignorance, or citing some fictitious reason for not being able to write. There is no excuse for not writing, just ones you are willing to accept. You start making excuses now and you’ll just keep pushing that line you’re not willing to cross further and further back until you can’t even see it anymore, that’s not what you want to do – trust me.

Just do it…

…stop fiddling with those damn pens, ignore the crumbs on your desk, turn your bloody phone off, close Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, that forum with the distracting weirdoes on it, make sure the cat/dog/lizard is fed, shut the door to office, sit your arse in your chair and write! Fingers on keyboard, eyes on screen, tappity-tap-tap, nope don’t stop to double check that word – the one you have is fine. Yes, I know those red squiggly lines are extremely tempting but ignore them for now. You know what you mean and that’s ok for now. Ignore the green squiggles as well; Word is terrible at grammar anyway. Is that a child crying outside? Who cares, it’s not yours. Hmm, maybe you should get the washing done…nope; you didn’t want to do it five minutes ago so you don’t need to do it now. Shall I make myself a sandwich…just fill your damn belly with coffee and carry on writing – tappity-tap-tap – this character was called Jeff a minute ago now he’s called Geoff, how long have I been doing that? Doesn’t matter keep typing, that’s what editing is for. You go back now and you’ll be correcting every bloody typo, squiggle, plot hole, and dialogue flaw known to man. Editing comes later, for now its bum in seat, fingers on keyboard, and eyes on screen. Shall I just do a quick word count to…NOPE, it doesn’t matter how many words you’ve written, if it’s a small amount you’ll only feel miserable and stop writing and if it’s a high amount you’ll only pat yourself on the back and STOP WRITING…neither of which you want to do. You want to write, no really you do, you want to finish this damn draft and move onto to something else. Get the bastard finished and you can give it a breather while you figure out the next story. Tappity-tappity-tap…wow, this is really flowing now. I’m in the zone. Of course you are! You’ve got bum in seat, fingers on keyboard, and eyes on screen. You’re flying now, look at those words zooming across the screen, it’s like it’s not even you typing anymore. Oh my God the main character is going to do WHAT? I never saw that coming and I’m bloody typing this thing, I’m on fire, baby! Tappy-tappy-tappity-tap-tap-tap…this is great stuff, new paragraph, new scene, new chapter…is that…? Yes, it is! It’s a finish line, and I can see it from right here at my desk, bum on seat, fingers on keyboard, and eyes on screen. Wow, this feels amazing. I feel like…I feel like…a writer! Probably because I’m writing. Who would have thought that all I had to do to finish this story was sit down and write it. Just sit down and do it until it’s finished. All those paltry excuses I waved around like delicate hankies, who was I trying to kid? Who was I trying to fool? All that time wasted when I could have been writing like this, speeding through the words without a care in the world. A smile on my face…

Bum in seat…

Fingers on keyboard…

Eyes on screen…

Just do it.

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  1. Probably the greatest enemy of any creative pursuit. The more we write the better we write and the easier it is to face that blank page. Writing is using your rain ad like any muscle if you don’t exercise then it becomes flabby.

    I’m terrible for this myself. I’m go back to your self doubt post. That’s probably the biggest reason I fear the pen or keyboard. It’s not until we write every day do some of these fears subside. You may write 1000 words fit for the bin, but it was a warm exercise at least.

    To avoid the internet when writing I use an app called Strict Pomodoro. It allows you to add website that you cannot access when writing. This is done in blocks of 25 mins with a 5 min breaks in-between. Great if you are tempted by those pesky updates and messages.

    Loving this series by the way.

    1. I don’t like the thought of having a flabby brain but it would explain why I can’t get normal sized hats to fit! I’ve never tried the Pomodoro technique but I hear it can be quite useful. I might have to look into that. Cheers, Tony.

  2. Yeah – thanks Steve. Procrastination is the thief of more than Just time!

  3. Excellent advice. It IS so easy to make pathetic excuses. But if you want to become a serious writer, like you said, you just have to do it. Sit and write. It’s an awesome feeling when you get in the zone.

    Great advice as always.

    • Liz Brownlee on April 11, 2012 at 22:34
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    I agree. i just sit down and do it. It works.

    • SueH on April 11, 2012 at 23:19
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    True – I can procrastinate for England, at times, but once I start tapping away it’s lie mybrain leaks ideas all over the keyboard!
    Sometimes (I c

    • SueH on April 11, 2012 at 23:22
    • Reply

    …. let me finish my previous comment! (damned smart phone!!!)
    As I was saying – sometimes I find that forcing myself to actually sit down and write becomes an act of will – but once I start the ‘muse’ inevitably takes over!
    It’s just that ‘act of will’ bit I have trouble with…..

    1. Yeah, yeah, that’s just an excuse! I WAS writing my novel but my smartphone cut me off 😛

  4. I’d say, “Amen Brother!” but I’m not religious.

    In all seriousness, I’m printing this out. Next time I’m struggling to keep my fingers on the keyboard, I’m going to make myself read this out loud.

    Then I’m putting my fingers back on the keyboard.

    Thanks for this. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, Tracy 🙂

  5. Rear in seat. The only way. Kitchen timers help, too.

  1. […] Just do it! […]

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