Circling the chair

There’s a lot of faffing to be done before you can actually write, isn’t there?  Or is it just me?

A lovely friend of mine recently referred to this inability to just sit down and write as “circling the chair”.  How long do you have to circle the chair before you actually manage to sit in it and put pen to paper?

There’s a way round it, and it’s to do your chair-circling away from the chair.

Bear with me.

You know what you want to write.  (I mean the basics: a blog post, a short story.  You needn’t be any more specific than that.)  Hold the thought in your mind as you go about your business.  Write down anything, however mundane it seems, that comes into your mind about it as you load the dishwasher, change a nappy, write a business strategy – whatever you’re spending your time on each day.  That way, when you do have your Chair Time, you don’t need to circle because you’ve got a small stack of random thoughts to work with.  It doesn’t matter if you think they’re rubbish, or you don’t know where they’re going.  Even if you just spend a few minutes typing them out, at least you’ll have started writing.  And, like rolling downhill, once you’ve started it’s easier to keep going!

How to actually write

Even when I block out a whole day for writing (and congratulate myself for taking it so seriously), and prepare in advance a list of Things To Write, why do I let life get in the way and do all the non-writing Things To Do instead?  Why??

And what can I do about it?  (Yes, this is a plea for suggestions from you.  I know my usual way on the blog is to give you inspiration, but today let’s play role-reversal.  Please?)

Here’s the thought process.

1.  Paid work is just that: paid.  So obviously it’s more important than writing a book that doesn’t even have a proper structure or plan yet, says my inner logic.  So why wouldn’t I deal with the paid work first?

2. Family comes first.  Always.  So of course I need to phone my mum and reassure her that everything is fine, before I get down to writing business.

3. Feeding the aforementioned family is part of my job as Mummy.  So of course I would put dinner in the slow cooker before getting out the writing implements.

4. Speaking of writing implements: laptop, you are very useful and I appreciate everything about you.  But as soon as I open you I can see all my emails and a million distractions.  (See 1.  And 2.)  Yes, I could close all those windows.  But I swear you open them again yourself when I’m busy trying to type a sentence for the third time.

And here is my single conclusion so far:

Write using paper and pen.  In a different room from the laptop.  It’s the only answer.

But it’s not the whole answer.  If it was, I would have come home from dropping the boy off at school, picked up a notebook and pen, and got on with it.

So how do I convince myself that writing this book is as important as the other stuff?  That’s today’s big question.  All answers gratefully received!