Wrestling — not the best exercise for writers

“I’ve been wrestling with this piece all day!”

One of my writers posted that complaint—or something very much like it—in our Facebook group the other day. I told her to go out and take a walk because wrestling and writing don’t mix.

So I’ve been wrestling with a piece of my own today. Raise your hand if you think I’ve taken my own advice.

wrestling with writing is bad exercise
A 1980 clip from Romper Room, but that sure looks like the Magic Mirror of my childhood.

Hmm…I don’t see a single hand raised. And even if I had the “magic mirror” that the beautiful Miss Whoozis used to see all the children watching Romper Room (she never managed to see “Elaine”!), I think I still wouldn’t see any hands raised.

Nor should I.

No, dear Readers, I did not follow my own advice. Not even after I reiterated it during our Writers’ Group call today. I reminded the writers that the energy of wrestling feeds on itself. The only way out is to stop wasting your energy by struggling. Release your mind, relax. And then watch the words flow.

Easy for me to say.

Wrestling with a deadline

I’m not a hypocrite; I’m a writer on deadline. A writer who has never missed a deadline in her entire career. That’s over 25 years, folks.

But when I’m staring down a deadline, it’s easy to forget things. Like the very sane advice you dispensed so easily not an hour before. Or the blog post you need to write for tomorrow. It’s currently 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday—but with a 407-day writing streak on the line, I’m damn well gonna get to 408. Deadlines. I know how to deal with deadlines.

I do remember to take breaks during the day—well, when Fenway reminds me insists. But except for a brief constitutional for her and 10 minutes to get both of us dinner, I think I’ve been pounding away at this ridiculous project for seven hours straight. That is not, as they say in the business world, a “best practice.”

I’m halfway done, and well on track to deliver on Friday, as promised. I’ll have earned some serious rewards once I get there—and Fenway, too. We’ll take a nice, long walk and she can sniff out all the chipmunks in the neighborhood. Until then, I’ll be pondering why this project feels so difficult. And why it’s so easy to forget my own advice.


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