Thursday Writing Prompt No. 67

I seem to be procrastinating on my NaNo novel. It’s not as though I’m doing nothing, though. I have work and plenty of things around the house to keep me busy. But what I’m doing is spreading myself thin with writing assignments. On one hand, there’s a certain amount of momentum that develops that keeps me humming along with projects, but this past week has been so slow with my novel that I’m starting to think that I am just looking for excuses.

So, this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is about excuses. We will clear away the mental cobwebs and jump-start the writing process by making a list of the most ridiculous things we can come up with for why we aren’t writing — whether that writing is a research paper, a proposal for work, a poem, or even your NaNo novel.

Now, take a sheet of paper and make a list of 5-10 reasons why you are not writing or why your writing is stuck. Writer’s block is a myth, by the way. Avoid the computer or tablet. Good old-fashioned paper and pen (or pencil) will reduce your inclination to jump on Facebook to avoid making your list. Throw some words on the page and get writing. If they’re awful, scratch them out or erase them later. There’s something quite liberating in scratching out horrible writing that simply pressing the backspace key just can’t live up to. Something visceral.

If you can come up with a silly enough list of excuses, there will be a story in it somewhere. Eschew the usual routine excuses for avoiding writing: you have to work late, you must walk the kids, you need to supervise the dog’s homework, you need for sleep, etc.,  etc. Come up with something really, really silly. If you work at this hard enough it will get you started writing.

Now go. And be one with the paper. And if your writing is still really awful, you can ball up the paper and play trash ball for the rest of the afternoon.

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