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Tonight, my writing is a writing on not writing

July 23, 2011

I have been sitting at my computer for the better part of an hour, trying to think of something to write for the blog tonight. It has been a tremendous waste of time, and has really only led to my browsing reddit and Google News and Google+ and so on and so forth. Earlier today I wrote a decent chunk of what will be a relatively long post on my reading of A Song of Ice and Fire, but it’s not ready yet.

So tonight I write about not writing.

To be honest, this has been a recurring problem for me; and one I’ve only recently begun to overcome. First, as I’ve said before, I don’t always actually like writing, but I always love having written. I used to think this was a rather ridiculous position to take, but the the other day I read an interview where George R.R. Martin said literally the exact same thing. I feel better about it now.

Second, I am really, really, really easily distracted…

…Shiny!!!

Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I get distracted by almost everything; which of course is not conducive to sitting for long periods of time and scribbling in a notebook or poking at a keyboard.

I’ve definitely been learning some tricks to combat this. Keeping a journal has been one that’s helped a lot. Keeping a calendar has done the same. Everyday I write I draw a little horizontal line along the bottom of that day on the calendar. As I go, I get an unbroken line of daily writing awesomeness that I can actually see. I’d heard somewhere that this is what Jerry Seinfeld used to do (or maybe still does) to keep himself motivated. I think he was on to something.

As you can see above, I’ve got an unbroken line from the beginning of the month to right now, and I certainly wasn’t about to not mark off a square on my calendar. Well, here I am, 300 some odd words later. Maybe tonight my writing was a writing on writing after all.

I’m always open to other tips and tricks for staying productive, of course. So if anyone has any, feel free to drop them in the comments.

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