World’s Greatest Procrastinator

I don't know if this is true, but this obviously means I'm Mozart.

I don’t know if this is true, but this obviously means I’m Mozart.

Since I am less than three weeks from the release of Broken Wave and I have a pile of life to maintain until then, I will not be posting again until it’s time to celebrate at the finish line. In the meantime, enjoy this, ebook versions of Girl Out of Water are still on sale for $0.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo and if youh aven’t already, add, review, and rate Girl Out of Water on Goodreads.

Procrastination is a talent.

I’m doing it right now. Blogging is a way for me to share the insides of my brain with people who might enjoy it and therefore enjoy my writing, but let’s be clear: blogging is not writing novels.

There are many things that take me away from the page: social media, texting, midsummer tax projections. There are days when I will go to great lengths to avoid confronting my fear that it’s all pointless, my writing is horrible, and that I will fail again. As I said last week, every writer battles this, but it’s so validating to hear, so it bears repeating. Right now I am banging my head against these notions daily in the run up to the release of Broken Wave, and I was pleased and encouraged to see a series of tweets from the intellectual powerhouse Ta-Nehisi Coates about his The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir with writing and the release of his latest book, Between the World and Me.

I really, REALLY needed that.

So rather than more kvetching Writer Pain, I give you how I trick my demons into getting out of my way long enough to write words that I like well enough to keep going.

1. Turn off the Internet

Yeah I laughed too, but it can be done. I can afford nice things, on occasion but I live without a data pipe coming into my home for a very good reason. The more internet I have, the more opportunity I have for ignoring my will to create. I love information, I love finding out new things, and revisiting old things. Pinterest? The actual Mirror of Erised brought to life. I can get lost in it for days. I cannot bring myself to unplug via willpower. I deny myself broadband so that I don’t have to. I pay my cell phone carrier to use on-demand smartphone tethering for a limited amount of data each month, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s a primitive solution to curb a primitive addiction. It’s not foolproof but it’s a start.

2. Ditch the Mouse.

This won’t help you necessarily if you use a laptop with a built in mouse, but I discovered writing Girl Out of Water (Cryptid Coterie Book 1), that when I took the batteries out of my wireless mouse and I couldn’t wander away from the page with a single click, my word count shot up. This tip is not as helpful if you’re a wizard with hotkeys, but it made me more mindful of just how often my fingers were unconsciously running away from where they needed to be.

3. Read Something

It’s better if that something is work you’ve already done but someone else’s work is good too. I’ve read old non-fiction essays or an especially good quip on a WIP and thought, damn. I wrote that? Sure did cupcake, now sit your ass down and write some more. My inner motivational speaker is kinda harsh y’all. It can be inspiring to read fiction that you view as the epitome of skill, but if you’re afraid of intimidation, find work that you despise and rewrite a page of it as an exercise. If you’re reading a book and thinking I can do better, invoke your inner Morpheus: “Show me.”