Repetitiously Repeated Repetition or: the Perpetual Drill Sergeant

Ugh. I’m just gonna level with ya’ll. I don’t feel like writing today. I’m not sure what is is. I got plenty of sleep, I’m not feeling down or anything like that, I just feel…lazy. All I want to do is sit in my big red chair and watch old Nostalgia Critic videos all day.

I don’t think I’m the only one feeling like that either. Because I see these, “Get your butt in gear and get writing you worthless slimebag!” posts all the time on various blogs. I mean how many times can you post the same, “I don’t care what you’re feeling like, screw the muse and get writing anyway,” stuff?

Apparently the answer is, a lot. Because we need to be motivated. Like all the time. Left to ourselves I wonder if any of us would get much of anything done. I mean sure you read some great motivational book or blog post or maybe you have am uplifting conversation with a fellow writer and you think, “Yup, I’m good to go. All those I-don’t-feel-like-writing blues have done flown away.”

And then tomorrow happens. And all that positivity is gone again.

Maybe someone should start a blog which consists of nothing but drill-sergeant, in-your-face, don’t-you-dare-tell-me-you-don’t-feel-like-writing-today-soldier rants. There’s got to be  market for that.


“But Albert,” you say, “Wouldn’t that get repetitive?”

Well, yeah. That’s kind of the point. I know I’ve said this on this blog before, but screw originality. There’s only about six different things we writers need to hear so if the cheerleaders among us end up repeating themselves or sounding eerily similar it’s because we really need to hear this stuff over and over and over again.

Because that, “I can take on the world and kick this wordcount’s butt” feeling is just that…a feeling. It’s  series of chemical interactions in your brain and it ain’t gonna last any more than that, “I’m on top of the world and delirious with happiness” feeling you had last week lasted.

But that’s okay. Because feelings don’t make you a writer. Yes, you’ve heard it before, and you’re going to hear it again. Sit down. Shut everything else on your computer off. Now write.

That’s what makes you a writer. Habit. Repetition.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Does it work? It does for me. At the beginning of this post I truly didn’t want to write this morning. But at the beginning of the year I made a commitment to myself to blog every day (barring Sundays), and believe it or not that commitment has taught me something important about writing which is this: if you treat writing as something you have to do, rather than something you something want to do you’ll accomplish more than you could dream.

Take it from me. I know it works. Ignore your doubts and your fears and tell your laziness to take a hike. I think you’ll find the old joy of writing is there waiting for you just like it always was.

12 responses to “Repetitiously Repeated Repetition or: the Perpetual Drill Sergeant

  1. Go forth and kick ass with your word count or somebody will be along shortly to collapse your trachea with a broom handle.

    — c.

  2. on the ball (chair)

    Exactly the way I feel this morning – and I have a Big Book Fair to run this week. So – it’s not something I have to feel that I want to do; it’s something that I simply have to do. With any luck, the feeling that I am feeling some satisfaction with what I have to do will emerge.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more! Every morning before I set out writing I make myself write that I have to write regardless of how I feel. I give myself a little pre-writing peep talk. If there was someone out there who wrote a blog on nothing but daily ‘get your butt writing’ posts, I’d follow like a puppy. Great post! Keep on writing!

  4. Pingback: But I don’t wanna… | The Leaking Quill

  5. A good reminder – one we all evidently need constantly. It’s one of the early things I noticed about bloggers – how often we write about how hard it is to write (I’ve written about it, too).

  6. I know that SOME writers struggle with this problem, but not me. A little wren perches on my bedpost every morning and sings me awake, then a rainbow of inspiration beams over me and when I sit at my computer every word seems like it comes from the mouth of God onto the page. It’s rather awesome.

  7. It’s happening to me as well. I’ve read plenty new blogs today and played a whack load of Scrabble DS. Monday’s were made for something, … right? Right?

  8. Hmm… I’m trying one new crazy scheme. Anyway, I lie on the bed and repeat a word about what I wanted to accomplish. For example, I want to get published. I repeat it 400x in one sitting (I got the number from Conversations with Millionaires who apparently got it from Napoleon Hill)–“I will get published”. Then, I go back to work. After all, half the battle is on the mind. We might as well give ourselves a little help on the programming.

    It worked yesterday when I was about to come down with something. I told myself over and over that I am healed (400 times). Then, my throat was no longer sore and my nose no longer stuffy.

  9. I’m shutting up to get writing today – thanks for repeating the writer’s mantra! 🙂

  10. A consistant message is the only way our body in motion stays that way.

    No matter the area of application, that is absolutely true. We are electrical and energetic and those things can be used to program supportive behaviors as well as challenging ones! Thanks for teching me something new as a growing writer…do it everyday at least a little!
    Have a great week!

    Oh p.s. Do you schedule your blogs to post at a certain time of day?

  11. Have read many similar columns. Most writers(professional) say when it becomes a chore instead of a love it’s time to re-access. Well thats nice if you’re writing a fun blog, but what if you earn your living writing? And not a free lance piece you sell here and there as a side job for and extra $3,000 a year, but really earn you income as a novelist, columnist, or screen play guy. Some of my favorite bloggers write a post every day and its really funny and critical and sarcastic satire and I can’t imagine maintaining such a production level. I don’t read that daily post drivel on how little Timothy made his dopey science project, Ed at the office, or Belinda’s ballet stuff.

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