Tuesday, August 19, 2008

playing pretend for real results

I used to love finding time alone to write. Now I'm finding that--especially while writing a first draft--it's easier to motivate myself in the company of friends.

At first this seemed strange. What was the matter with me? Why wouldn't I just get going on my own the way I used to do? But now I think those are the wrong questions to be asking. Why not accept that I've changed, and put some things in place to adjust to this new way of doing things? I mean, it's easier to get interested in taking a walk when it's with a friend. (Fortunately my husband has started taking the bus to work so I often walk him down to the bus stop in the morning or meet him in the late afternoon. It's fun--but it wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable without him.) And cooking is also more fun in company with others. Lots of things in life are just better with a friend.

So anyway, I put out the word amongst my writing friends, inviting them to set up meetings for writing together. So far only one person has been committed to meeting twice a week without fail. Others have more draconian schedules with demanding jobs, etc. But even once a month here or twice a month there might make us all more productive. And somehow when someone else is sitting across the table with a notebook or a Notebook, the question of motivation disappears.

I've also decided to play pretend. Why not let my imagination help me? On the days when no one is scheduled to join me, I will pretend. I'll set up my day "as if," and then when the time arrives to write, if a real person doesn't show up, an imaginary friend can sit across from me and scribble away.

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