No Longer Allowed

Attention, please.Note_desk_paper_237717_l

The following are no longer allowed during a writing session:

1. Whining

2. Worrying about the quality of your work

3. Obsessing over the odds for getting your work published

4. Wondering what others will think of your writing

5. Deciding that writing is a colossal waste of your time, because, really, what do you have to show for it?

6. Having impossibly high expectations

7. Getting distracted (no, you do NOT need to check your email)

8.  Worrying about what a failure you are and how this is not going to be the project to change that

9.  Thinking about whether or not you are following "the rules"

10.  Giving up, then going to do something else

Any guesses how my early-morning writing session went this morning?  Um, right.  Wasn't pretty.  How about you?  What is on your list of Things No Longer Allowed in Writing Sessions?

14 thoughts on “No Longer Allowed”

  1. I am laughing at this list. I could have written it this morning too. Instead of writing, I ended up watching ‘What Not to Wear’ and eating potato chips. And of course checking email zillions of times….

  2. Lauri, I think sometimes the smartest thing is to just stop trying to pretend you’re writing and go watch TV and eat potato chips. I love potato chips, and I’m sure they go well with “What Not to Wear!”

  3. Last night I started writing in my first proper journal. My friend gave it to me, along with an article in the latest Writers Digest about how to unkeep a journal and I am ready to go.

    Funnily enough, on the second page I’ve written what is not allowed in this journal. The list reads:
    100% perfect spelling and grammar.
    Pristine handwriting.
    Self lectures about what one should be doing.
    Mandatory daily entries filled with dreariness and necessity.
    Blow-by-blow descriptions of monotony.

    I think I should add ‘obsessing over odds of getting published.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I hasten to add that I have written in diaries/journals before, but I declare this one my first ‘proper journal’ because I will not allow it to become a chore. This one is my companion, my confidant and my friend – and that is my definition of a ‘proper journal.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Jessica, Yay! for writing in your first journal. I’m so happy for you. And how very fitting that you started it with a list of things not allowed. Good entries, all!

  6. Hi Charlotte, Reading those rules about not following rules, what immediately comes into my mind is that rules are there to be broken. I was always a bit of a rebel!

    How strange that I should have blogged about breaking away from society’s conditioning (rules) today and finding our own right and wrong.. And here we are talking about our own rules – or lack of them – for writing. Here’s how my Zen gets me into a mess regarding this issue…

    The problem with breaking away from the rules is that we are imposing our own rules on ourselves, and I am sure that like me, we will all find a way of breaking them again. Isn’t life a wonderful paradox! We can either obey the rule of moaning about it, or laugh our way through it as we obey the rule of not moaning about it. As long as we feel that this is not a rule within a rule, within a rule too!

    There will be flashes of true spontaneity however. That’s what I like! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Charlotte,
    Internet.

    Television (Lifetime and Hallmark channels can suck me in with the quickness!)

    Playing with the adorable twin children and new puppy roaming the house (As I write this I had to let the dog in, explain what a calendar was to one curious four year old, and wonder why my four year old daughter was wearing my skirt on her head like a shawl. This is exactly why I must do the bulk of my writing after all are asleep)

    Christi

  8. Derek, I’m a terrible rebel myself, which means I’ll be breaking the rules I made about not following rules. That’s spontaneous, isn’t it?

    Christ, I admire you–I couldn’t get any writing done when my children were that little! And you have twins! Wow!

  9. I guess Charlotte that answer is in the question for each of us… What is being spontaneous? How do we know we are really being spontaneous and it’s not just another conditioned response? I think we would just know as we would not be able to say anything other than.. “I have just been spontaneous!”

  10. OH gosh, I’m totally busted on #7 – I found this whiling away the afternoon on Twitter…red faced…back to writing…

  11. Kathy, But Twitter is so much fun! And such a necessity to our careers! And…oh forget it, those are all rationales and we know it….good luck with your writing.

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