Hanging collages by Diana Zahuranec

Process vs. Project

Butt in chair.

Grit and determination.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like writing. Do it anyway.”

“The ones who stick it out are the ones who succeed.”

“Show up for the muse. Don’t expect her to come to you.”

Butt. In. Chair.

A lot of writing advice boils down to wordcount or logging the time you spend in the chair. 

Squeezing out words like blood from a rock, if you have to. 

Accepting that some days you’ll go one paragraph back for every two paragraphs forward. 

Sitting down and writing no matter what you feel like, because you show up for the muse, she doesn’t show up for you, because the writers who are successful are those who’ve stuck it out when all the other schmucks lose motivation and sleep an hour later, because all that counts is butt in chair.

I subscribed to that. There are many days when I don’t feel like writing, but when I sit down at my blocked-off time in the morning, the sentences flow and just like that, I do feel like writing. Magic! Butt-in-chair is powerful. Consistency is admirable. If you wait to “feel like it” before doing anything, let alone write, we’d look like the bleak future portrayed in Idiocracy (a movie that so depressed me I couldn’t finish it, yet it remains seared in my memory).

But a couple of things have convened lately that challenge my idea on this writing philosophy, or at least are reshaping it a little bit. First: I finished a book and began (and continue) to query agents. Second: I completed the Februllage collage challenge. Third: author Ewan Morrison’s opinion about projects.

Some of the collages I competed for the #Februllage2023 challenge. See more of the collages and acrylic I do at @dianaz48_art.

Read the rest of this post (and some of my favorite recommendations on books, podcasts, prompts, and more!) on my Substack newsletter: Follow that story.

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