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The Lure of the Open Road

17 January 2012

It might not be the open road calling your name. It might not be the temptation to climb onto a Triumph California and blast your way across the country, meeting people and having adventures along the way. In fact, it might simply be the desire to plop down on the couch and catch up on all those second-season episodes of The Walking Dead that are fermenting on your DVR.

What I’m talking about is distractions. No matter how much you love what you do (writing, painting, creating digital art, and so on), there are times when you just… don’t want to do it. Maybe you don’t have the energy after a long day at work. Maybe you had a particularly productive day yesterday, and feel a little bit slack-ish today. Maybe you can’t even pin down a reason, but you just don’t feel like working today.

Normally, my advice would be just to push past it. And today is a normal day, so my advice is to push past it and get back to work. But how? How do you shake off the distractions, the feelings of sloth, and get yourself into work mode?

I can’t tell you what will work for you, but I can tell you what I do. I usually make compromises with my brain — bribe it into doing what Responsible Me knows we should be doing.

Me: OK, brain, here’s the deal. We have to write 2000 words tonight, but I’ll let you have Tucker & Dale vs. Evil on in the background while we work.

Brain: No deal, Copper! You’ll never take me alive, see? Never!

Me: Why are you talking like a 40s gangster in a Bugs Bunny cartoon?

Brain: Your mother dropped me on our head when you were a baby, see? Yeah, that dame dropped us on a tile floor, see?

Me: Right, then. How about this — if we get our 2000 words knocked out in the next two hours, you can just watch the movie without doing any work. I’ll even feed us fattening, delicious Hot Pockets. You know how we like fat…

Brain: You drive a hard bargain, Copper.

Bribery aside, I’m sure there are many other ways to push past the distractions. What have you got, folks?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 17 January 2012 1302

    For me, it’s the mantra, “Everyday I don’t write is another day I have to go to work.”

    Granted, I’ve allowed myself to NOT write everyday in recent years…just shoot for more days writing than not. But the sentiment is there: If I don’t write, I don’t allow myself the chance at something more. I know the odds are slim that I’ll ever make it writing full time, but it keeps me going…and writing.

    • 17 January 2012 1303

      I like that very much. Especially as I don’t love working to death. 😉

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