Fall = Foliage, Frost & Football

September 10, 2007 at 10:20 am | Posted in Jessica, motivation, procrastination, writing | Leave a comment

This week, we Purple Hearts are going to think about the coming change in season. My friends who are moms look forward to this time of year because they can claim some more writing time while their little ones head back to school. But for me, fall is my least productive time of year. I am a big fan of summer so, yes, the colder mornings, first frosts, and start of shorter days all contribute to a bit of funk . . . but the biggest culprit to my slowed progress is my addiction to college football.

What does this interruption have to do with writing (other than posing some serious obstacles to productivity)?

In the words of Knut Rockne:
“Football is a game played with arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up.”

To a certain extent there is a physical aspect to being a writer. Sitting, hunched over the keyboard, punching out scenes and settings and dialogue and GMC, running through our own paces each day, all require a certain amount of physical fitness and balanced nutrition in order to play our positions. But largely, writing is a game played from the neck up and each time we hit our respective playing fields, we can best perform if we come equipped and ready to play.

Getting ready to start writing a new book is as grueling a pre-season for me as training camp in ninety-degree weather. (Well, maybe not as physically intense – I’ve attended training camp in Dallas in July and it’s purely brutal as a spectator, so I can’t imagine suiting up in pads and running drills and battling dehydration while clashing with behemoths on the other side of the line of scrimmage.) But the respective paces mirror one another in terms of discipline, practice, and the need to execute in order to ‘make the team’.

The prospect requires a game plan.

Whether it’s plotting or outlining your book, finding where you fit in the market, identifying appropriate agents, targeting certain publishing houses, establishing your author brand, or networking your way to the right connections for you, the writing is about the writing . . . and then some.

As Myretta mentioned in her blog post last week, writing is very much a solitary endeavor and, while we may surround ourselves with chosen teammates, we are ultimately our own coaches, communications personnel, scouts, quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, guards, safeties, defensive ends, and special teams. It’s up to us – our prep, our strategy, and our execution – whether we win or lose.

So shake out those arms, roll those shoulders, and stretch those legs. Exercise those writing muscles and get ready to write! Oh, and if Georgia loses to Alabama in their SEC match-up on September 22, I will never hear the end of it!

-Jessica

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