I’ve been avoiding the blank page for about a week and a half now, using one excuse after another. All my usual tips for getting started are proving useless. The concept of putting words to paper seems as impossible and preposterous as jumping out of the window and expecting to float.
It makes me feel quite sick, if I’m honest. Self-loathing builds up dramatically, and every day that starts with “Today I’ll get so much done” and ends with “I can’t believe I got nothing done” makes it even worse. What’s amplifying the problem is the fact that I’m at a point in my latest book that I’m kinda stuck with, and having to overcome a difficult obstacle to even start is not good.
So I’ve decided, simply, to skip it and come back to that part later once my mind is in more of a flow state as opposed to a concrete state. And I’m taking my own advice and writing this blog entry as a way of at least warming up the typing brain cells. I also wanted to let people know – the people that have such a chronic procrastination problem that they often feel utterly helpless, the ones who try all the techniques and still feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel – that it’s not just them. 
Some people think that getting stuck like this means lazing around relaxing; it’s the opposite. It’d being unable to relax in any way, tormented by the knowledge that there’s STUFF TO BE DONE, and yet you almost seem to be deliberately sabotaging yourself by not just getting up and getting on with it. You feel constantly wired yet utterly brain dead at the same time. Sometimes I find myself literally rubbing my face and tugging at my hair in frustration.
 At lunchtimes, the folders would gang up and intimidate Lewis.
One thing that I find does help (if it doesn’t solve the main problem at all) is to get at least ONE tiny, tiny job done so the time isn’t a total loss; the smallest, most doable job you can find. That means the next day, maybe you can get two things done, and so on. If you’re anything like me, you’re a machine once you start; the hours drop off, and it’s only until your hands start to shake from hunger or your face gets hot from a lack of fluids that you stop. Then of course, once those problems are dealt with, you have the whole issue of stalled momentum all over again…but at least you had those hours, right?
It’s a dark, dark business, and it IS beatable…but some days are harder than others, and some days you’re just going to fuckin’ well fail. The key to it (and one I haven’t mastered) is to be able to accept those days for what they are and prepare to do better on the next one. Let me know how that works out for you.
To learn more about MY books (Woo!) visit www.lukesmitherd.com where you can buy them for Kindle.