How Words Get on the Page

It's Sunday afternoon, and it's hot here in Portland.  My nephew is visiting on his way from an internship in Washington D.C., back to law school in California.  And he, my husband, and my son, are all at my daughter's learning how to make beer on this glorious afternoon.

And where am I?

Writing this at my computer, obviously.

But the bigger question would be why I'm working on this beautiful afternoon.  Um, that would be because I procrastinated just the wee-est bit on a ghostwriting project and found myself up against a deadline.  I really needed to get my client a chapter by Tuesday at the latest, and I had no other time but today to do it.

Here's the truth: I procrastinated because I didn't know exactly how to do the chapter.  It had to present the themes of the book in the context of the "author's" biography and I was clueless as to how to proceed.

So I procrastinated.

Until I was up against it.

And then came the time when there was no other choice but to start in.  Guess what happened?  Yeah, you're right.  As soon as I actually began engaging with the chapter, the words came.  And I got the chapter (at least a rough draft of it) done and sent off to the client with time to write this blog post, too.  (I'm heading over to my daughter's for wine and a barbecue once as I'm done writing this).

This experience was a good reminder to me that the magic happens when we engage with the words.  That writing gets done when we write.  I know, duh.  But I forget this far too often as I wring my hands and obsess about my WIP.  And I'm certain that it happens to you, too.

So next time, you're stuck, try writing instead of staring out the window.  Trust me, it actually does work.

What do you do when you are blocked or procrastinating?  Do you have anything that helps you get through these states?  We'd all love to hear about it.

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