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Packing Heat 110: Spinning Your Wheels

Packing Heat is a podcast I've been putting out since 2007. My goal is to help other writers stay motivated, and to encourage them to take their writing to the next level. You don't need special gadgets to listen; Packing Heat plays in your browser, like YouTube. Or you can subscribe (and leave me glowing feedback) at iTunes!

Spinning Our Wheels

We all spin our wheels in different ways:
  • Watching TV, especially compulsively watching hours at a time when you could normally take it or leave it
  • Playing video games
  • Checking email, checking email, checking email

Finding yourself doing some of these things when you think you'd rather be writing is a signal that something is up with you!

Only you know your own habits. It may be normal for you to decompress with a few hands of solitaire, but if you find yourself playing Minesweeper for three hours when you have a deadline looming, chances are you could be deliberately avoiding your task.

Is something going on in your life that's upsetting you? Some of us (me included) have a difficult time writing when we're feeling low.

Or does your story need to cook a little bit longer before you serve it up?

Your Assignment

Identify the way you spin your wheels, so you can be proactive next time, rather than going into autopilot.

Think of a plan B and a plan C so that you don't fall into your wheel-spinning pattern so long that find yourself wandering a week later, dazed and confused, with 10,000 games of Minesweeper and a full season of The Biggest Loser under your belt.
  • You might try a short walk to jog your creative juices, or a simple, "what happens next?" exercise
  • If the writing's really not coming, you could have a to-do wishlist of tasks you've been meaning to handle around your house that will give you a good sense of accomplishment when you complete them
The show, a lean and mean 13 minutes.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Excellent advice!
Oh... did you see the link for that thing last night? ;o)
Jun. 29th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Argh, that damn link. No, it was Hemovore on LJ, where not only was someone encouraging their friends to steal the book, but then took the trouble to say Channeling Morpheus wasn't any good. Just a year's worth of work reduced to two derogatory words...no problem. :P
Jun. 29th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Oh no! I did not know about that...
Jun. 30th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you had a bad day yesterday(? time zone confusion). I hope today has been better.

I have so many ways of avoiding writing that I don't think I can count them, even if I could reach my toes and use them. I'm still trying to decide if lurking online and commenting at random counts or if that's important social networking and other impressive sounding stuff - I suspect it is wheelspinning. This year's top time-eater has to be Goodreads, with 'following interesting links about writing' coming a close second.

My personal indicator that it is time to sit down and give myself a serious talking to? An almost irresistible urge to do housework...
Jul. 1st, 2010 08:30 am (UTC)
It was a whole lousy weekend, actually. I accept that life isn't always a bowl of cherries, I just bounce back faster some times more than others. (You should have heard the first podcast I recorded and deleted, ha ha.)

I'm so with you on the housework. Not that it doesn't have to be done...it does. But not during the time you've set aside for your creative stuff. (I actually found that deep-cleaning one of my bathrooms that had gotten nasty seemed to help the feng shui-ish vibe a lot.)

I do keep holding off on the closet that had moths and now poison in it. Too damn hard.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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