I’ve been dangling TV over myself like a carrot, making sure I got words in before I was allowing myself to do anything else. Sometimes it works, sometimes I cheat. But most of the time, I manage to have enough will power to keep from turning on the TV until I get at least a few words on the current project.
It’s kind of weird focusing on one particular project. I’ve always worked on more than one project at a time. But even I have to admit, keeping myself focused on this one book has been one of the most productive things I’ve ever done.
It does take an enormous amount of willpower and brainpower to not think about other books, particularly since I’m nearing the point in every book where The New Shiny Ideas become plentiful and it would be so easy to stop the hard project and work on other easier ones. But if the years of writing have taught me anything, it’s that I do this with every single project.
But focusing on one seems to drain me creatively, and I find it more difficult to write when I do it. Hence the TV carrot. I started watching Burn Notice again, a show I’ve watched a lot in the past, like Friends or Alias. I find myself getting immersed in it, and binge watching for hours before I go to bed. But when I do that, I wake up the next day and I can’t wait to write, even though I’m in this phase in the book where I just have to slog through the words.
It seems to help a lot, and this week, it’s been way easier to get those words. So my TV time has become a goal to strive for, because I’m not allowing myself to do it until I have my words for the day in. I’m sure other writers do this. But I think I do it because I crave the stories. Just watching it, seeing the common elements from episode to episode makes me crave to sit down in front of the computer and write. In fact, I actually stopped the episode I was watching last night to write a scene that just popped in my head, and it had nothing to do with what I was watching.
Let’s see how this carrot thing works to get me through my Murky Middle on this project. Hopefully, I don’t get lost in the swamp.