Posted by: Genene Valleau

Current project: Preparing for the December 12 release of 
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How do I keep my butt in the chair? Sometimes it’s by getting up and walking away.

I can hear the gasp of outrage at my dared blasphemy. We’re writers, has been the hew and cry. We have to put our butts in the chair, hands on the keyboard (the hallowed BICHOK) and write every day.

This sounds good.

However, what happens if we don’t BICHOK every day? We’ve had some discussion on the loop recently about this, so this cycle may sound familiar: We feel guilty. We beat ourselves up. We sit in the chair with our hands on the keyboard, feeling miserable and wondering where our creativity went.

Perhaps we chased it away.

Before you protest, take a look at that cycle:
–“We feel guilty.” That doesn’t feel good.
–“We beat ourselves up.” That doesn’t feel good.
–“We sit in the chair…feeling miserable.” That doesn’t feel good.

How can our creativity thrive when we don’t feel good about ourselves or what we’re doing?

I’m at a point in my life where I look for lessons in every experience, then reinforce the joy and positive feelings from those experiences. If something feels difficult or “blocked,” that’s a signal to me that I need to step back and look at things from a different perspective.

Or, as we do with the characters in our stories, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper into the reasons/excuses for not meeting goals. Is this what I really want? Am I afraid of failure–or am I afraid of success? Do I just need a break (from family, friends, pets, a full-time job to pay the bills, and a myriad other commitments) to find myself again, to play or to refill the creativity well?

But don’t stop–or get stuck–digging into the reasons. If writing is what you want, there’s a treasury of advice available from others (adapted to meet your own needs, of course!) on how they actually meet their goals. Here are a few suggestions:
–As Lisa so eloquently said in her recent blog, “fix our vision firmly” in our minds and go for it!
–Barb takes a deep breath, knowing things other than writing are sometimes unavoidable, but also acknowledging she is making progress toward her writing goals.
–Thousands of writers use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to kick-start or meet their goals.
–Many writers take a break between projects to let ideas simmer or just relax.
–Other writers toss the “rules” aside and write, rediscovering the joy they felt when they first started writing.
–I am learning to treat myself gently, which includes self-hugs and positive reinforcement.

Those of us who belong to RWA are also very fortunate to have the support of fellow writers. That’s high on my gratitude list this Thanksgiving Day!

And, yes, there comes a time to just do it! So, with my attitude adjusted and creativity ready to pour out on the page, BICHOK can be truly effective. Ready, set, butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and write!

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BICHOK–OR NOT? — 4 Comments

  1. Nicely state, Genene…I’m the same way. I have to take a walk, sit in my “thinking” chair, or simply take a nap to get the juices going. And yes, take care of that pesky life thing from time to time. M:)

  2. Your suggestion to treat yourself kindly is a good one. I sometimes do that… but only if I deserve it. Which totally eliminates the being kind to yourself. Well, I’ll keep working on it.

  3. Gasp! Horrors! Quick, somebody save her from herself and chain her to the chair!

    Or not. Could be you have something there, Genene. They don’t pay us enough to do something we hate, so we must be doing out out of love. I do think deadlines, guilt feelings, perhaps even humiliation of being a writer who quit, all get in our way sometimes.


  4. Minnette, Jessa, Delle–thanks for stopping by! And why aren’t you all BICHOK’ing? LOL!

    I generally seem to run the opposite way everyone else is running. From the finish to the start line? Hmm…

    Delle you could be right about chaining me to the chair. Has anyone thought about having a chair that automatically straps you in BICHOK position when you sit down?

    Aye-yi-yi! Think I’d better get out of this comment before I get myself in trouble!

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