Self-Trickery 101

I went to a CWILL BC meeting last night and the discussion revolved around methods of inspiration and, even more importantly, ways to get started again once you’ve let a project sit for too long.

I have very short windows of time in which to write. Between 1 and 3, when my son is sleeping, and sometimes a couple hours in the evening. Generally, I spend the whole morning wishing for time to write, and then when 1 o’clock rolls around, I would much rather have a nap. Or mop the floors. Or bathe feral cats, for that matter.

You know how chronically late people try to trick themselves into punctuality by setting their watches 10 minutes fast? Well, here’s how I trick myself into writing:

1. Make a hot drink. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate. On bad days, a mix of coffee and hot chocolate. On really, really bad days… a marshmallow on top.

2. Say, “Well, if I’m going to sit down to drink this, I may as well sit at the desk and check my e-mail.

3. Check e-mail.

4. Check mls to see if my dream house has suddenly become available.

5. Now that there’s nothing else left to do, decide to just open the manuscript, even for 10 minutes, and look at what I wrote yesterday.

6. Check the clock, amazed that two hours have passed, and rush out the door to collect daughter from school.

Just don’t combine this method with the punctuality method, or you’ll loose 10 valuable minutes of writing time.

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