Procrastination. Yep, I seem to be turning into the world's biggest procrastinator lately so it was fortunate for me when I stumbled across Dennis Palumbo at Bouchercon last weekend. He was giving a short seminar on writer's block and procrastination. I could have listened to Dennis for a couple hours. He was a screenwriter for the first two seasons of Welcome Back Kotter back in the 70's and is now a licensed psychotherapist for screenwriters, authors, directors, etc. His viewpoints on writers block and procrastination made a lot of sense. I can't wait to read his book: Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within
Dennis has three cosmic rules of writing.
1st cosmic rule: "You are enough." Quit with the if only's. Everybody thinks the party is happening somewhere else. You have everything in you to be the writer you want to be right now.
2nd cosmic rule: "Work with what you are given." Use who you are, your personal voice, your experiences and emotions.
3rd cosmic rule: "Writing begets writing." Quit thinking and worrying about it, do it, write. If you get to your computer and along the way, stumble over the cat in the morning, and then sit there and can't think about what to write. Start with the cat.
Makes a lot of sense and so much of it is common sense. So what should I be doing, instead of procrastinating? Preparing, plotting, pondering points of prose to propose and searching for the correct pen for pencraft. Because there is only one more week til the start of National Novel Writing Month. I, along with thousands, perhaps tens of thousand of people around the world will be taking up the challenge of writing a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. If you haven't tried it yet and the writing bug has been nudging you lately, challenge yourself and see what happens. To help you, Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo has written a book "No Plot? No Problem? A low stress, high velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days."
I'm off to ponder plan and plot.
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