When I am tasked with writing things I do not particularly want to write, it is a painful process. Even if it is a short 1,000 word piece, it can take 10 times longer to write than a piece on something I am excited about. The extraction of every sentence is long and excruciating. I look at the relatively blank page and it is as if I am staring into the abyss. It seems endless and hopeless.
Invariably, I find a smoother groove after I have been on the task for far too many hours and am on the verge of giving up, but that is of no solace on the front end of the misery. And to make it all worse, just knowing that I am going to face such misery makes me not want to start at all – further extending the length of time that the entire project takes. In such situations I actively engage in Classic Avoidance Behavior (CAB). I do house cleaning, address book updating, Christmas shopping, web surfing, laundry, fingernail polishing, dog grooming, bird watching -you name it, anything but staring at the screen trying to pull out the required words…word by word.
It took me an hour and a half today to write 310 words – 310 words! That is ridiculous! To be fair, I wrote more than 310 words, but I erased probably about 500 words in the process of writing and rewriting the dozen or so sentences on the page. And what is really sad is that I cannot tell you that those are fabulous sentences…but they should be since I only produced three to four words a minute. At that rate it should be Pulitzer prize winning stuff.
So here I am now – doing what I do best in such a situation – avoiding the abysmal task by doing something else. If only my whole life was filled with the opportunity to engage in nonsensical musings on my blog…what a life that would be. But no, I have to be a grown-up and sometimes that means sucking it up and doing things you are not fond of doing.
It is back to the grind for me…back to staring at the screen like a zombie…back to muttering to myself under my breath about variations in phrasing. Word by word I will complete this project if takes all week. And in the process, I suspect an awful lot of other random chores will get done as well.
Day one thousand four hundred and twenty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da