Judo for Writers

Another excellent suggestion from Immediate Writing: judo for writers.

This technique is one that lends itself to the Five Minute Rule. Remember, the rules is:always, always, always do at least five minutes of writing a day–even when you’re ill, busy, don’t feel like it, are traveling, dog dies, etc.

Sometimes, perhaps even often we writers find ourselves in front of our pen and paper, or keyboard, simply sitting. This is okay. Sometimes you’ll just sit for your five minutes; but, often, if you use writing judo you’ll be able to unleash whatever has percolated deep in your subconscious while you’ve been busy doing everything else your life entails. The practice of writing judo involves simply going with the flow. Rather than stewing and ruminating in your chair, put what your thinking on paper. Write (or ride, your preference) it out. If you’re thinking “I can’t do this” or “I’m tired and just want to go to bed” or “I need a cup of coffee” or “what am I doing here? I can’t write. I’m a fraud. Who am I kidding?” Just start typing all that garbage out of you. Then start questioning. Ask, “why do I feel like a fraud? Why can’t I write? Why do I need a cup of coffee right now? Why do I want to go to bed?” Then write out the answers you get. Sooner or later you’ll uncover what’s bothering you, and it’s almost always related to the story you’re trying to tell. Bingo! When this happens just continue to flow with it. Perhaps after all your judo, you write, “I’m tired of this character/setting/whatever. It just doesn’t seem realistic.” That’s something useful that you can corral and work with. Why doesn’t it seem realistic? Why are you tired of X? Questions are your friend. Use them.

Don’t be afraid if you find that, after getting to the meat of the underlying issue, if you devolve back to self-doubt or sitting in confusion thinking. Just start again. Use your judo and soon you’ll find yourself back in the meat of things.

The key with writing judo is that the resistance you’ll often face is overcome to your benefit by using the force of resistance against itself.

What are your experiences with resistance? How have you overcome the resistance you’ve faced writing? Comment below!

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