This Space for Rent

Okay, so I’m fighting to fill the space today…and not fighting all that well, to be honest.

I do have Friday’s post all set. I think. It’s one that’s finished but has been on hold for damn near two weeks, and I’m still vacillating about posting it. So maybe I don’t have Friday’s written after all…

At any rate, back to today. Shit, where’s a squirrel moment when I need one?! At least a random derailing of my thoughts might provide something entertaining!

How ’bout this?

What do you when you don’t feel like writing? Or when the words & thoughts just won’t come?

That’s actually not a bad question. Damn, I surprise even myself sometimes.

We’ve all had those days: you get up, do your regular shit, then sit down to get some work done. And you can’t focus, or the words won’t come, or you struggle to complete even the simplest of thoughts.

Or, even worse, you have one of those days where you can’t even muster the energy or interest to sit down and work at all.

Yeah, those days suck.

We all have ’em…even those who say they don’t. For me, those days happen (mostly) when I’m doing the prep work for a story. I really do love to explore the characters and worlds I am creating, but it doesn’t have the driving and all-consuming focus and passion that comes with actually writing. I spend less time working and a great deal more time screwing around…err, researching.

When all that prep is done, however, you can’t keep me away from the work. The rest of the world can go fuck itself, I have a story to write!


Not today, however. Today is a problem.

The best advice I’ve read on this came from Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club and other books) via the writing site LitReactor. In one of his columns/pieces, Chuck talked about those days where you don’t want to write. His advice was to use an egg timer. No, really, a timer. Or something else to similarly define a space of time (I loved his clothes dryer idea).

However you’re measuring the time, you make yourself sit down and work for an hour(ish). No matter what. The worst case? You spent an hour writing. You paid your bail, now you can go outside and play.

The best case? You get into the flow and you turn out something worthwhile…and you keep working.

That happened to me today. I gave myself an album of time (yes, that’s how I measure writing time) in which to work on the details of setting and background that I had to have, but really didn’t get me excited to work.

Funny thing is? It worked. I wrote for an album. Then for another. I got into it…more importantly, I answered some questions that were still hanging around and gave myself some interesting options to explore in terms of tone and setting.

Now go away…I have more work to do.

And I think I have a serious man-crush on Chuck Palahniuk.

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