Shhh – great secret revealed

Joe’s Post #79

secretsOk, get the kids out of the room. Close the blinds. Stop looking at Pinterest (seriously, stop looking). It’s time for a secret to be revealed. It’s the secret of how to keep writing in the face of daunting obstacles, both real and imagined.

This secret is so secret it doesn’t have a name. At least before now. Now, I shall call it the Reset Secret.

So, for any of you out there, me included, my 5/5/5 partners included, this is for you. For you, too Stephen King. And James Patterson. I know you have your dark moments, too.

One of the things that drags us down as writers (hey, even as non-writers, though I know not how you people thinketh), is the past. For writers it’s I didn’t get anything written last week or I had a lot of rejections or the dog at my outline.

Worse, we go farther back. I didn’t get a novel written on time. I have some many rejections that I could publish a novel of rejections. The dog ate my hard drive and peed all over the portable back-up.

It piles up and piles up until we’re so heavy with guilt or regret or disillusionment that we stop writing.

So, why not do what any child would do in any video game that locks up?

resetRestart. Reboot. Reset.

It’s simple in theory. Harder to do in practice.

But it can be done.

Today is day 1. Throw out all the old mind-f*cking junk. It’s day 1. It’s not the 30th day you haven’t written. It’s the 1st day you have a chance to write.

You’ve just come back from vacation and can finally sit down and write.

You’ve just got your computer repaired and can finally write again.

You’ve stopped for a moment in the coffee shop and have a few minutes to write.

Reset your mind. The past if full of things we cannot change (at least until I get my time machine in my basement to work). The future is full of possibilities yet unrealized. So, we have only the present that we really live in. In the present, we can write.

Living in the present is how I survived the death of my wife. The past had been devastated and the future looked hopeless and full of pain. Only in the present was there any sense of peace.

And there were bad days. Make no mistake. Many of them. But I tried to start each day as if it were day one.

As if I’d reset my life.

zenSo that’s what I do now. In my writing life. Reset. Today is day one. What can I get done today?

It’s the secret to the long struggle that is, for most of us, the writing life. At least for me.

*****

Blogs I’ve read that are awesome: Blurt . Funny and cool.

My opinion on unicorns: They are the Kardashians of the mythical equines.

Number of blogs written: 2 – Parenting and Hockey.

Number of times I felt smug: 2

Number of times I nearly had a heart attack while watching the SF vs Seattle game: 35

Number of queries done: As of 9am, 0. RESET!

Number of short stories sent out: As of 9am: 0 RESET!

Thoughts????

9 thoughts on “Shhh – great secret revealed

  1. The old adage & advertising slogan “just do it” comes to mind. I like the daily practice of living in the now too. Someone very close to both of us (but me in particular), gets up at 5, has a long day at work, uses the commute home to work out ideas for his books, & then writes a chapter when he gets home (more on his days off) to meet his deadline. Plus he’s a hockey & other activities dad, Canucks & NFL fan. O.K., I do come in handy for home support, but if writing is really your passion & you want to get published, you have to “do it” one word at a time. Now get to it Joe. You got the goods!!!

  2. You have no idea how timely this post is for me. I came into January planning to make significant progress on a WIP. But I was met by a heavier-than-expected workload with the day job and miserable winter weather. And I’ve felt terrible about not writing the way “I should.” But the reset concept makes perfect sense. Thank you so much for this post!

  3. Pingback: How Is It February Already? | jmmcdowell

  4. Sage advice indeed. You have no idea how much this helps me, and I am sure a whole bunch of our followers as well. Very very well done, Joe!

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