I rarely encounter what’s traditionally known as writer’s block, that sudden realization that I have no idea what the next words in my manuscript will be. Once or twice per book, I might falter and stare at the blinking cursor in a panic, but I can usually take a break, come back to my computer after doing something else, and get back to work.
However, I do encounter plenty of other roadblocks as I travel down that path from the start of a book to the end. By far, the one thing that most gets in the way of my writing is me.
Much like Priscilla talked about in her Tuesday post, I can find any excuse under the sun not to work on a book. Laundry needs folding? I’d better get right on that. Litter box needs cleaning? Sign me up. Even when I sit down with my computer on my lap, telling myself that I really, really, really have to work on my book, I still can’t focus.
First, I need to check my e-mail. Just typing that sentence made me hover my mouse over the task bar to see if I had any waiting. Once I’ve dealt with the e-mails, I have to check the news sites in case something exciting has happened since I just looked ten minutes ago. In these turbulent times, you never know. In fact, I’d better take a quick peek right now before I continue with this blog. And as long as my browser is open, I should pop over to Facebook and see if there are any new posts about outrageously fattening recipes I have no intention of making.
Okay, with all the important things out of the way, it’s time to get serious. But first, I need to decide what reward I’ll give myself when I finish this blog. Usually it’s a game of Candy Crush. Each game is entertaining but quick, so I can break my work into little steps with a game at the end of each step without losing too much time. Over the weekend, I cleaned all three bathrooms in my house. After I cleaned the sinks, I got to play Candy Crush. After I wiped off the mirrors, I played another game. After I finished the toilets, I got to play two games.
And so it shall go with this blog. Since it will be too disruptive to stop after every paragraph to play Candy Crush, I will award myself three games at the end. I’m typing faster just thinking about it.
One thing I’ve discovered in life is that whenever there’s a roadblock, there’s usually a detour. You just have to find it.