Tuesday Tips: Butt in Chair

Well, it’s my turn for Tuesday Tips, which means I get to share some tips for writing.

For those of you believe in the BIC (butt in chair) technique, raise your hand if you’ve sat in your chair for hours without advancing your story. (My hand is stretching toward the sky, by the way.)

If you’re like me, it happens about once a week, so here’s what I’ve learned: Once I’ve tried writing for at least an hour without producing much of anything (mostly writing and rewriting the same passage), I give myself permission to walk away. At first, when I started doing this, I felt guilty. I needed my BIC if I was ever going to finish this novel! But what I discovered is, I’m a lot less frustrated about writing if I don’t force myself to sit there when I’m clearly producing crap.

So…next time you get angry at yourself for not being a better writer—next time you feel bitter or frustrated about what you’re producing (or not producing)—do yourself a favor and walk away. If you’re anything like me, you’ll come back the next day fresher, more excited, and ultimately more productive.

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