Writing: Accepting an Invitation No One Sent

It’s so easy not to do something. Don’t want me to play with fire? Ta-da. I just didn’t play with fire right then, so you’re welcome.

It’s also easy not to work out, as proven by my low step-count totals for the past few days.

Even more than avoiding something stupid or skipping the gym, it is easy not to write. There are hours every day where I do (or don’t do) just that. Honestly, the time I spend writing I COULD be doing something “useful” (cut to the mess in the fridge staring me down. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s some kind of vegetable that time forgot, or at least I did.)

But I write anyway, because even though no one sent the invitation, I’m going to that party. I’m crashing it.

Before I wrote every day, I thought of writing in terms of mainly inspiration. I pictured a woman reclined on a Victorian fainting couch, the muses whispering in her ears.

evalegallienne
I don’t smoke, but if I did, it would be on a fainting couch while staring absently upward (image via DailyKos)

The muses, silly buggers, don’t speak loud enough for me to hear half of the time. Speak up, muses. Get some elocution lessons and then let’s meet back for my afternoon writing session. Say, 3 PM? The fainting couch?

It’s easy to make excuses not to write.  The easiest excuse, the one that creeps into my mind, is that what I’m writing doesn’t matter. The door slams closed on the party, because why would anyone throw a party for that anyway?

How do you know?

Another excuse is that I’m busy. Day job, family, all of the other stuff that comes along with being alive takes up a lot of time. So, the party can be late at night. It can be part of the 5AM Writer’s club. Even 500 words a day makes progress, something you didn’t have before.

It’s even easier not to make excuses not to write and to just let the time slide away into fridge cleaning, Netflix binging, daily life, and fainting-couch appreciation (I seriously looked at three dozen pictures of fainting couches before picking one to post). Very few people have someone waiting for them to turn in work. If you’re not on a deadline, make a deadline for yourself. I use Pacemaker to set writing goals for myself and achieve them.

Okay, I’ll climb down from my pedestal to level with you. I don’t write every day, but I write more often than I don’t write, and I have to feel okay with that. When I get a streak going, I let myself feel good about it. I’m working on a new first draft of a novel right now, and when I am away from my characters for too long, I have to read pages and pages to pick up their voices and the niceties (or not-so-niceties, as we’re nearing the climax) of what’s going on. When I write for several days straight, I sit down looking forward to picking up where I left off.

Just to save you the time of Googling away your precious writing minutes, here are some more fainting couches, this time with animals.

 

 

Now, get back to writing. That’s your invitation.

via Daily Prompt: Invitation

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