I have very few vices. I quit smoking just over 12 years ago, and I rarely drink, so I’m pretty squeaky clean. Well, mostly. We already discussed comfort foods, and there are the times when the Gorilla Cheese truck gets so close that I am unable to resist a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Oh and there’s Tally Ho—the roast beef on a bun place in my hometown that calls to me every time I drive by it.
So. Temptation. The notion of temptation implies something we should resist doing, but are strongly drawn to anyway. No one ever says, “I’m SO tempted to go to the gym and work out,” or “I’m SO tempted to drink that wheatgrass juice”*. Nope, at least, no one I know says those things. The people I know say things like, “I’m tempted to skip the gym and go to Tally Ho,” or, “Instead of mowing the lawn with my face, I’m tempted to stalk the Gorilla Cheese truck—that’s exercise, right?”
But to make this post about writing, I’m not going to talk (more) about my food temptations, but my writing one, and take a little look at its causes.
I’ll be honest here and admit that I am very often tempted to not write. In fact, I’m sure every writer, beyond the very first exciting sentence they ever wrote, has been tempted to not write at one time or another. Writing is hard work and I’m tempted all the time to just not do it.
Like when I sat down to write this post, I was tempted to NOT write it and instead, do a thousand other things, including stare at my shiny new bookmarks for a while.
Aren’t they pretty? Say it with me: “Ooohhhh, Ahhhhhh. Shiny.”
But why was I tempted not to write? If I’m honest with myself, it’s because I really had no idea what I was going to write about, (which should come as no surprise to you if you read last week’s post). So, in other words, I was stalling. But I still needed to get this post done, so I forced myself to put away the bookmarks and the internet and opened up my Word doc. And stared at the screen for a while. And then went back online and found some pictures to include. But in the end, I needed to ignore the temptation to stall and wander and just get the work done. Sometimes, I need to put more brain effort in and sometimes I need to just eliminate distractions (goodbye, Twitter!), but in the end, it’s just a matter of being strong and facing that temptation and not giving in until the work is done. My writing motto, ripped off from Nike is “Just Do It”, which applies as much to writing as it does to sports. You can’t win against temptation unless you just do it. Butt In Chair. And I guess I usually win, because I have written a lot of books, and there hasn’t been a day spent writing that I haven’t been tempted to do something else. Like go get a grilled cheese.
Your turn: what tempts you away from your writing?
*Uh, have you ever had wheatgrass juice? That stuff tastes like lawn. Gross.
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