Oh, I'm in that lovely between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place situation where a deadline is breathing down my neck and my current WIP is wooing me from across the room. Just by being there.

And with the deadline having a few warts and day-old beer breath, you know that I'm raising my Diet Coke and winking at that wild hunk of a novel over there. You know, the one who looks like Josh Holloway.

I've even mastered a coquettish giggle. The kitten is hiding under the sofa.

But instead of facing the deadline by rocking the Word doc, I'm writing up a witty blog post about avoiding the work that we have to do as opposed to the work that we want to do. I think it's very timely, don't you?

The funny thing is, the article I have to do is one that I suggested writing in the first place. It's a great item that I'm sure I'll enjoy reading once it's published -- if only I could get my ass in the chair and write it. ;)

I don't think there's a career more cruel than writing. Why? Because we're our own worst enemies. Now don't get me wrong; writers, editors and agents are the most helpful people in the world -- but they're not the problem: what we do on our own is.

To help illustrate, let's see how the seven stages of grief can be applied to writing:

Shock or Disbelief
This happens when a query is accepted (I can't believe they want my article/book!) or rejected (I can't believe they don't want my article/book!). It also crops up when we think we might have a really good idea and then can't believe that it hasn't been done before.

Instead of telling people that you are a writer, do you say that you want to be a writer? That denies any cool "I'm a writer, for sure, for sure" karma that may have been headed your way. Another sign of denial is a blank page: by not writing, you are denying yourself the enjoyment of playing with words.

"Once I finish the Boston marathon, I'll get my book done." Is making time for writing something you feel you must earn by doing other things first? Get over it and do yourself a favour by bargaining the other stuff away. Try this: "I'll get to the laundry once I finish this chapter."

I know I should be writing, but I really need to ________. Whatever that blank is, tell it to blank off for an hour (or more or less) so that you can get a few pages done. Don't send yourself on a guilt trip: the boarding passes will cost you too much in the long run,

Oh yeah, get mad at the world because you couldn't sit down and scribble a few ideas down on a cocktail napkin or squeeze an extra half-hour out of a day to focus on writing. Heck, get peeved at me for posting this. There are plenty of writers out there who find the time, so instead of getting mad at them for showing you up, follow their example.

It's depressing when you don't hear back from editors and agents, but it's even worse when the reason they're not contacting you is because you haven't submitted anything. Sure, avoiding rejection may seem like a safe (and non-lucrative) way to approach your writing, but how much fun could that possibly be?

Acceptance and Hope
Oh, the word acceptance is so powerful in writing; it can come in the form of an article assignment, an offer of representation from an agent or a book contract. It can also be defined by finding a beta reader or writing group that can provide you with constructive feedback. And with any or all of them, you'll find a ray of hope to get your ass back in the chair.

Okay, back to work!

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