Dr. O’Cyborg’s Prescription for Writing: Leave It Undone

Cyborg Hunter

Dr. O’Cyborg’s people have endured much persecution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feeling sick today. I blame the change in the weather. We had five days of summery temperatures in a row, and then last night, an hour before I started coaching my beginning runner’s group, it started to rain.* And now it feels like the air pressure is going to squeeze my brain out my nose.

Human barometer: worst super power ever.

Anyway, before I take copious amounts of migraine medication and retire to hallucinate about sentient balloon animals for the rest of the day**, I’d like to pass on one of my writing tricks. Well, I call it mine, but I’ve heard it in so many different places over the years that, like a ret-conned superhero, I just can’t trace its origin anymore.

I have a minimum daily word count: 500. On average, I write about 2,000 words per day. Most times in one go, but other days by picking at it for five or ten minutes here and there.*** Either way, I usually get to that point somehow. And one of the ways I get there is by stopping the previous day’s writing before I’m done.

I know, sounds stupid, right? Leaving the act unfulfilled? Constant writing blue balls. Blue ovaries. Whatever. But I always end the day before I’ve come to the end of the ideas. And then I make a little note of what happens next somewhere, and close the program. I go do my other life stuff.

Then when I come back the next day, I have an idea of what comes next. Which means I do much less staring at the cursor, waiting for an idea to turn up. I waste less time. And, by the time I finish whatever was left over from the previous day, I usually have new ideas waiting for me. My hindbrain works on them while I’m finishing up yesterday’s work.

Of course I always reach the end of the writing day before I reach the end of the new ideas. So I repeat. And very rarely do I completely stall out. My days are vastly more productive because of this little trick.

Just like the old show business saying: leave ‘em wanting more.

*Which I wouldn’t mind so much, but every Thursday night for the last five weeks, the weather has been shit for the weekly group run. I don’t know what I did to offend the weather gods, but it must have been fucking dire.
**Just kidding. I’m not really going to do this. Because that would be crazy, right? RIGHT?
***Today feels like the latter. Sentences interspersed with conversations with Dr. Seamus O’Cyborg, my imaginary half-Irish, half-robot medication provider.

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