That first word

Writing that first word of the day is always the hardest one. There are so many ways to procrastinate. Gotta download the e-mail, of course. Oh, and Facebook must be checked. Hmm, anything interesting on Craigslist today? Better pop over to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and see if Brett Favre has said anything new to set off another frenzy about his return to the Vikings. I can spare a few minutes to my appetite for destruction with Crush the Castle 2. Oh! Somebody commented on my Facebook status update.

Yeah, that’s a pretty typical day for me. It hasn’t been so bad the past couple of weeks, though. I’m working hard on three projects, trying to get them finished before school starts next month. It’s extremely unlikely I’ll get all three of them done, but I’ll feel good about it if I just keep working consistently every day.

Yesterday I wrote over 5,000 words on the new collaboration project and Nadia’s Children. Today, though, I got up late and was going from one task to another until about 10:40 p.m., when I finally came to the computer to write. Some twenty minutes later, assured that Favre was quiet today and all is well with Facebook, I turned to the collab project, because it had been my turn to write a chapter for about 23 hours at that point. An hour later I’d cranked out about 2,100 words and sent it back to my partner.

After that first word, it just flows like blood. The trick is just getting to sit down at the computer, then putting aside all the distractions and focusing on that first word.

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