Why, indeed? Before taking some of her excellent advice, I decided to answer some of her questions from the foot-dragging position I'm now occupying instead of the one that I hope to adopt in a day or so.
"What's holding you back?"
Would you accept "I'm really tired and don't feel like writing" as an answer? No? Let's try again with the errors she identifies.
1. "Error 1: You haven't set aside a specific time for your research."
Well, yes and no. I've set it aside, but my brain isn't showing up.
2. "Error 2: You’ve set aside the wrong time for writing."
Rockquemore suggests that the best time is morning, and she's probably right. Morning is the time when your brain is freshest, but that also means that it's a time when resistance toward writing can be at its highest. Balancing those two factors can be tricky.
3. "Error 3: You have no idea how long writing tasks take."
Oh, but I do. I know how long they take: for a slowcoach writer like myself, way too long. I like her idea of a chart, though. Anything that spells "chart" usually gets me back to work.
4. "Error 4: You think you have to do everything yourself."
She suggests "inexpensive" options for help with research tasks, but even "inexpensive" is too expensive for me and not the best option for the kind of work I do.
5. "Error 5: The tasks you have set out are too complex."
That's true, but I actually have a whole range of tasks. I don't want to work on any of them, even the kind (like reading copyedited proofs) that are usually gratifying and kind of fun.
6. "Error 6: You can't remember what you have to do."
I remember, all right. I made a list (her recommended remedy) even before reading the article, but that's partly causing the resistance to getting to work. There's such a lot of it.
7. "Error 7: Your space is disorganized."
My space is a thing of beauty--desk cleared right down to the wood, books arranged on the bookshelves in front of me, and folders with hopeful, ambitious labels signifying various projects all in their proper places in the wire folder stand. Excessive cleanliness for me is a symptom, not a cure: if I've been organizing, I haven't been writing.
Rockquemore closes with this list:
- Write every day for 30-60 minutes.
- Identify what (if any) technical errors are holding you back from writing each day.
- Experiment by trying one new strategy this week.
- If you feel reactive to trying new strategies to increase your writing time, ask yourself: what beliefs are keeping you from experimentation?
- If additional resistance emerges, welcome it with curiosity, engage it in conversation, and identify the behaviors and the feelings associated with it (you may even want to keep a resistance log).