Free-For-All Friday (A Day Late)

(What is this? My very own meme, which could take the form of other Friday memes out there — random five or ‘fessing up — or non-Friday memes, or anything! Point being to have a little fun and get a little interactive. Feel free to snitch my logo at left and do your Friday thing!)


Trick or treat. On this Halloween weekend I’m thinking about tricks (having eaten too many treats). Specifically, the tricks we play on ourselves to get our writing done.

Sometimes my tricks come in the guise of treats, like the Oregon-coast trip I promised myself after I finish the current revision. Most of the time, however, my tricks are all-out mind games.

Like, for example, the cutting game. Give this one a try during revisions:

1. Upon sighting a paragraph that’s rotten to the core, decide: CHOP THAT PUPPY!

2. Decision made, now wonder if the paragraph is not rotten so much as misplaced, poor thing. Tell yourself that the prose isn’t half-bad, after all…

3. The moment you waffle tell yourself that you WILL delete it because you are a professional and you can handle it.

4. Cut rather than delete the paragraph and paste, yes, PASTE, the offending passage below THE END. Now, feel secure in knowing that a) you’re indeed a professional and b) the words are still officially within the document, ready to be salvaged at any time. The best of both worlds!

5. When finished with the revision, revisit these “cuts” and wow yourself with your writing prowess as you dismiss them as rotten to the core.

Or, this one, which I like to call the I’m-really-watching-television game.

This trick is for those of you who find yourselves too tired to work at night, yet work you must. This mind game is good for blog-writing and emailing too.

1. Change into your scroungiest lounge wear and turn on the television.

2. Place laptop on your lap, and remind yourself that what you’re really doing is relaxing with televised brain candy. Guilty-pleasure programs work the best. Like “Supernatural” because Jensen Eckles is too pretty. Or that new Tyra Banks show, “Stylista,” because it’s wrong in so many enjoyable ways.

3. Mute the television during a commercial and casually open a document or what-have-you. Start working. Remember, you’re really watching t.v. so you can un-mute as soon as the commercial ends.

4. Don’t fret if you forget that you’re really watching television. You may even go so far as to turn off the telly, but this is okay. You can always catch the brain candy in reruns.

What tricks do you play on yourself to get the work done?

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