Quit your bitchin' and get to work

My sons gave me an iPad for Xmas, which makes for a handy way to watch Netflix.

One show that I haven't yet decided if I like is Showtime's Californication. David Duchovny's character, Hank Moody, has writer's block, which is fueled by his anxieties despite his publishing success and a movie deal. As expected, the show takes liberties with the life of a professional writer. Unlike Moody, I don't have panic attacks, nor do I have difficulty cranking out the word count. On the other hand, I don't have women chasing me for sex. (Hmmm...maybe I should get writer's block.) One plot complication I don't understand is that Moody claims to be a New York writer and hates living in Los Angeles. So, why doesn't he move back?

Here's a glimpse of the show in a funny Russian over-dub.

The show's premise hinges on Moody's writer's block. As a professional writer--meaning that if I don't write and write well, I don't get paid--I can't afford to mollycoddle myself with writer's block. And neither can any one of my writer friends. Many of them astound me with their work ethic. For me, 2000 words is a good day. I know writers who manage 4000+. Paolo Bacigalupi posted that he once did over eight thousand. Amazing and somewhat intimidating. That and his many awards.

Which leads me to digress for a bit about creativity. Being this is the age of the Internet, I Googled creativity process. The website Directed Creativity flayed the creative process to the point of eye-glazing absurdum. No matter what model you use--or more likely, don't use--when you write, your creative process probably overlaps many of the proposed creative steps. I find that a good way to get creative is to apply this acronym: BICHOK--Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. I once heard Chuck Palahniuk address the issue of performing a task he wasn't keen on doing. He applied the dictum: Thought follows action, which at first seems like a backwards way to tackle a problem, much like Fire, Ready, Aim. But in fact, the take-away is: Don't wait to get inspired; Get to work now. Which is the best way to attack writer's block.

I've mentioned in an earlier post that this year I challenge myself to not only keep writing but also paint more. With that in mind, let's build a little forward momentum by going backwards, much like a pitcher doing a wind-up. I've posted some of my watercolors in Facebook that I did when I first started painting professionally. Hope you like them.

Don't forget our Bad sex in writing contest. Ends this Thursday, Jan 27. Prizes!


A. J. Larrieu said…
I love your BICHOK acronym. This is best writing advice there is: don't talk about it, think about it, or plan for it. None of those things are putting words on the page.
Denise said…
ooooooo, love love that painting. that's amazing...

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