I have a confession. I don’t want to write this post. It is Day 26, and I am tired. It is Day 26, and it is late. It is Sunday night (because yes, I schedule these to post in the morning), and I have to wake up early, and most importantly, I don’t feel like it. But here I am.
Isn’t this what this Writer’s March is about in the end? Getting your butt in the seat even when you feel it is impossible. Even when you think you’d rather scrub your floorboards with a toothbrush. Or pick the cat hair from the couch with a pair of tweezers. Or write Thank You cards for all the people you’ve forgotten to thank (for every missed thank you of YOUR ENTIRE LIFE). Because yes. Even that would be easier than this. Sitting and writing when you would rather be anywhere else.
But here I am. Because there you are. And tomorrow when I go to write, and I remember my novel, I will remember this moment. And I will remember that this writing thing is hard. And I will do it anyway. I will think of John Dufresne, and keep my butt in the seat, staring at the wall all day if I have to. I will, as Steinbeck advises, write my page for the day, if that’s the route I decided to take. Because it is MY part in the process. MY job (as Elizabeth Gilbert tells us). Or maybe I will print the thing out and type the page or the poem or the story or the novel over and over and over again simply for something to do that is less agonizing than this (Because Jennifer Simpson says that helped her and maybe it will help me, too.).
Remember, there is a reason I’ve called this “A Writer’s March” and not “Writers’ March.” While we support each other and encourage each other and inspire each other, in the end, it comes down to one butt. One seat. One task for each One person.
And here we are. Almost at the end. At moments like these, the best writing advice I can think of is this:
Set a timer for fifteen minutes. Sit at your desk with your pen and your paper or your computer, if you are the typing type. Set the timer, and go. Whatever you do, do not let the pen stop moving. Even if you have to write, “I have no idea what to write” over and over again, because at some point, you’ll find some thread to follow.
When you feel like you can’t do it, prove yourself wrong. Write through it. That way, the next time you feel like it can’t be done, you’ll remember that you didn’t stop.