One of my favorite author-bloggers, Kelly Barnhill recently wrote a great post about the antics of her son and his friends entitled If those boys would stand still for five minutes, they’d write a damn good novel. Based on their conversations, I think I’d get along handsomely with these young men: “Okay, fine. We all speak fluent Wolf.” “Toe jam is just the nice way of saying toe poop. No one likes to believe that their toes can poop, but they do all the time.“ “We have to stop Dr. Nimblenuts and his atomic EXPLODING ANTS!” If I could only capture that kind of wild creativity in my own writing!
But it wasn’t so much the boys’ dialogue that struck me as much as Kelly’s summary question, “What’s distracting you from your writing today?” My answer came quickly, as I’ve been in a distractible state lately. Like Kelly, I have been enjoying the distractions, so I’m reluctant to move on and do the work that I know I need to do. I have the goal of writing a sample sitcom script, and I’ve been “researching.” I’ve read how-to books and articles, watched (too?) many sitcom episodes for inspiration, listened to several hours of Ben Blacker’s Nerdist Writers Panel podcast, downloaded script writing software, read scripts from Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation – everything but write my own sitcom script. All of these activities are important and justifiable, but they’re all ancillary, and it’s time for me to buck up, face my fears, and start writing that script!
I’ll close with the same question Kelly asked, but slightly broader. What’s distracting you from your goals today? What excuses are you making to yourself? Are you stuck in preparation mode, afraid to take the next steps?