I spent last week in Virginia Beach with my family...three sisters and their families and a Whitman Sampler selection of in-laws. Not to mention, me, my husband and our son--who almost drowned, but that's another blog post.
I took an entire briefcase of work with the best of intentions of getting up before everyone and working. As it turned out, I wasn't the earliest riser and it was ... well, nice to have people to talk to over toast and coffee. (It can be very lonely to live with two adult males who believe grunting is morning conversation.)
After chatting every morning, I took a walk on the beach. I'd come back sweaty and since I was already in my suit, I'd swim. Then read, then play yatzee...well, you get the picture. Writing just didn't factor in. Except on Thursday when I had to write 2 pages or my head would have exploded.
So, here it is Monday. I'm not behind because I'd sent a proposal in the Friday before I left (LOL...sneaky, huh?). But I could have "written ahead" last week so now I'll be starting where I should have been last Monday. So I have a "behind the eight-ball" feeling.
So the first self-talk I did this morning was to remind myself of Rule #1...don't panic. So you took a off week or (or a day or even 2 weeks or a month)? This is life and sometimes life interferes. Frankly, I seriously needed a vacation. It probably did my writing mojo more good to get a break than to write when I was mentally exhausted. The same may be true for you. Sometimes you need to take a break. And sometimes life just plain won't give you time to write. Don't beat yourself up. Do not panic. Be grateful when the moment comes and you can sit down to write! Be grateful! Not grumpy. Or scared. Or panicky. Give yourself a break.
But...Rule #2...eventually you have to get back to it. And that might mean getting out a wet noodle and whipping yourself. You may indeed have to force yourself to sit in the chair and open a Word document. You may need to bribe yourself...Hey, I'll buy you an ice cream cone if you write five pages today.
But...Rule #3...don't lie to yourself. Do not give yourself the ice cream until AFTER you've written the five pages. But, also, don't tell yourself that "reading" somebody's book is writing. Email's not writing either. Neither is twitter or facebook.
Writing is writing. I count synopses. I count storyboards. I count outlines. I count real pages. I even count lists of twenty. Because they are all work that goes toward creating a story.
I do not count my ezine or even my writing workshops. They are writing of a sort but they are not work that gets me into a new fiction project/book.
Rule #4...just think how good you'll feel after you've accomplished a new outline, five pages, a synopsis. Seriously, when you sit at your computer, close your eyes, pretend you're done...no, don't pretend. Actually imagine what it will feel like when you are done. Feel the rush. Feel the relief. Feel the pride. Then think of what it would be like if you'd written ten pages or twenty...Let yourself experience the rush of happiness, confidence, success...then open your eyes and start typing! LOL
I'm about to get going myself. So maybe if I say one-two-three start, we can all begin this glorious Monday morning together?