I want to talk about a little word. Easy to say. Easy to understand. But hard to follow. It seems fraught with risk – the possibility of danger always lurking beneath the surface, threatening to bring you down.Let me start with a story, and end with a quote. More
On Imagination (By Silver Donald Cameron)
“Hair,” said the novelist W.O. Mitchell. “Think about hair. “Hair on your head grows. Hair under your arms – and other places – doesn’t grow. But what if it did? Imagine! Guys with hair billowing out over their shoes! Lifeguards looking like ourang-outangs! Playboy centre-folds looking like bear rugs!” More
Ask any writer how their writing is going and they will usually mumble something non-committal. Most of us sweat blood when it comes getting words from keyboard to monitor, and many love “having written” – but the actual writing part “not so much.” For my part I love the re-writes, but hate getting that first draft – the puke draft – up on the computer screen. Until I get to that “aha, I think I’ve got it”, I am in a very bad place. I pace the floor, do some administrative work, go online to see how meagerly my meager stocks are doing- anything to avoid that blasted keyboard. Like all writers, I am a procrastinator. The fact is most of us can’t physically write for eight hours a day. Our brain cells won’t stand for it. Mores the pity. I find I get my best work done if I am working on three or four speeches at the same time. Well not exactly the same time, but having various projects in various stages of completion can help prevent getting hopelessly bogged down on a single project. It’s hard to get writer’s block when you have multiple projects on the go. A writing colleague of mine has quite a tranquil view of the matter. She believes that most of the writing goes on during all that stuff you do before you actually put pen to paper so to speak. She says “give yourself permission to procrastinate.” So luxuriate in your down time, rejoice in your relaxation knowing that you are in fact “pre-writing”. Now if you can just figure out a way to your pre-writing hours billable hours. Or maybe you do? At what stage does the billing clock turn on for you? And when do you turn it off?