Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Musings: Avoid Becoming a Sithy This Summer

It’s almost summer and the weather is becoming pleasant, the daylight hours grow longer and you begin to hear the breathing of Darth Evader just before his storm troopers blast open the doors to your Star Cruiser and force you to turn to the dark side or die a horrible mind-crushing, bone-splintering death.

Okay, that was maybe a bit dramatic, but the lure of summer and all the fun outdoor activities can turn you from a productive writer into a lazy beach bum in short order.

“Why do you resist?” says Darth Evader, “why write when you can go outside and enjoy yourself?” (Insert heavy breathing) “You do not need to sit in your chair and crank out words when beach volleyball beckons.” (More heavy breathing - oh, and a fist clench too - that’s good) “It is your destiny. Besides, are you not on vacation? Come, join with me and together we will rule the sands.”

Yes, I can understand the temptations your words bring, Darth Evader, but you ain’t my momma - so shove off. My suggestion to avoid becoming a Sithy and giving in to Darth Evader’s lures to the dark side is to get your writing done early in the day, even if you are on vacation.

Write first thing in the morning if you can.

It may mean writing freehand if you are away from your computer - you know with a pen or pencil – you do remember what those are, don’t you? And whatever you do, don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll do it later today” because after the BBQ and six beers you ain’t writing jack shit - believe me.

And pretty soon one beautiful summer day will blend into the next and before you know it Darth Evader has you by the DNA strands and your midichlorian count is too low to resist the lure of “not writing” and you will be swayed into the dark habit of non-production.

The ultimate defeat comes when you say to yourself, “I’ll write again once the weather turns ugly.” With that statement, you’ve just become a Sithy. Give yourself a name like Darth Idle, or Darth Vain. The face paint, robes or cool head gear are not worth it.

So keep at your writing no matter the weather. You will be happy you did. Leave those other Sithies playing with their wands while you go on to create those great pieces of fiction you know are inside you burning to get out.

Keep writing, and may the . . .

You didn’t really think I was really going to write that, did you? I have some integrity – not much – but some.

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