Hitting the Reset Button

I liked that this was a switch more than a button. I spent way too many hours playing games on this old console.

I liked that this was a switch more than a button. I spent way too many hours playing games on this old console.

“Butt in chair, fingers on keys.”

I don’t know who said that first and I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s true. It’s how I have motivated myself to spend the time I need to writing. My Twitter feed tends to be filled with people who are also writing stories and when I’m distracted from actually making words into stories, I can usually find some motivation in there. The You Should Be Writing meme is helpful, sometimes, too. Especially when it’s Neil Gaiman glowering at me. I don’t want to give you the impression that I make time to write exclusively out of guilt because that’s not the case but sometimes it’s true. Like most of us, I’m easily distracted.

You played what in Words With Friends? Who beat my high score in Solitaire Blitz?

Unfortunately, some Facebook games get more attention than they really deserve.

Making time to write. Yeah.

When everything boils down, it’s really about scheduling time every day to put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keys.

Until late last summer I was a morning (mostly) writer. I would get up early – before the chickens even thought about waking up – and have some coffee, exercise, shower, eat breakfast and then write for forty-five minutes or an hour before I went to work. When I took a job that required me to commute, I gave up exercising in favor of writing. I’m paying the price for that now in having put on too much weight before the winter holidays and then adding the normal ten pounds or so I put on during the winter itself so I’m going to have to change something.

I’m going to have to become an evening writer.

This is harder for me than it might be for anyone else. I’m not being a martyr or anything, trust me, but it’s off the rails for me to consider this. I liked waking up, thinking about what I dreamt and then trying to channel them into whatever it was I was writing. Often I would think about things while I was out for my morning walk/jog and develop a lot of things before I ever sat down at the keyboard. That’s hurt me a little – as a writer and in terms of how I feel physically – and more than I’ll probably ever admit to myself.

Hell, this isn’t a confessional. It’s a story.

That’s how I’ve made time to write in the past.

Going forward, I’ll have to take what I did this past November during NaNoWriMo and apply that to my everyday routine. Once I get my evening things done, I’ll have to go into my office at home and open the laptop, sit down and put my fingers on the keys and ACTUALLY write. I’m going to have to give up watching some TV and be productive. I will have to worry less about what’s happening on Facebook and Twitter though I need to maintain my presence on both platforms. I’ve got a couple of projects that have to get out the door. It won’t matter that I’m on those platforms if there’s nothing to guide readers to.

What I have to do is establish these new patterns of behavior and put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keys.

Then the words will flow again like they did before.

Jason Arnett is a storyteller living in Kansas and writing in the plains of the fantastic. Some of his work can be found at www.jasonarnett.com

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