How to Get Started on a Down Day

I write every morning, seven days a week.  I get up, let the dogs out, make coffee and sit down with my laptop.  It’s a routine that builds commitment as well as ones portfolio.  It’s also a luxury afforded to writers who don’t have other morning obligations, or who can pass their duties off to a partner or employee.  I’m grateful for my morning routine.  And sometimes I hate it.

This morning, for example, I can’t think of a thing to write about, except the fact that I can’t think of a thing to write about.  Most advice to writers emphasizes the importance of starting with an outline in order to chart content and flow.  I don’t do that.  I’ve written professionally as an academic, then a business woman.  Content and flow feel kind of built in by now.

Most of the time I follow my nose (or should I say fingers?).  When it’s over, I proof read, correct, cut and paste, and proof read some more.   The problem with my method is that on days like today, my nose isn’t leading me anywhere.

The best days are those when I need to get something off my chest.  Or when I’m excited about an idea and eager to explore it.  For example, the Republican primary is beginning to annoy me.  First, you can’t get away from it if you want to check the news at all – or even if you don’t.  Second, the candidates range from irritating to alarming.

ImageThis morning when I logged on, I saw a teaser about Mitt Romney declaring Social Security and Medicaid “unsustainable.”   Wars that leave countries in the same or worse shape than before are unsustainable.  Young people dying for no gain, that’s what’s unsustainable.  There’s plenty of money to reward Americans who’ve paid into the system all of their working lives.  Our current national priorities, that’s what’s unsustainable.  And the widening divide between the obscenely rich and the rest of us…   So, you see, just starting to write sometimes lands me with tomorrow’s topic.

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