The down side of my overactive imagination is that I can vividly imagine how hard things are going to be. For example, if I start thinking about going to the gym, I see myself changing clothes, getting in the car, suffering through a work out, coming home and showering, which when put all together in my mind seems like too much. Last week I heard someone say, "Don't think, just do," in reference to this very gym scenario. "Thinking is a trap," she said. "Just get your butt there." This is a smart person, a wise person, so this week, every time I got stuck thinking about going to the gym, I told myself, "don't think, just do." And it worked.
Drunk with success, I tried applying it to my writing. When I've found myself going down the mental road of "I don't want to write, I don't feel like it, I can't do it today, I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do next, I hate the stupid book, why did I ever begin this anyway, etc etc" I have told myself, "Don't think, just do." Here too, it works! The other morning I woke up and saw a piece of the manuscript on my night stand. I had never once tried to work on the book in bed, but I figured what the hell? Just do. So I started reading, and worked very happily for about an hour, lying in bed, in my pjs. What a gorgeous way to start my day.
This morning I woke up later than I wanted and didn't have time to do anything before I left for work. But I grabbed a few chapters and read them on the train. Snatching moments here or there to work on the book has been adding up to good work, good progress and good feelings. For the first time in awhile, I feel forward momentum again. Oh how I have missed you, forward momentum! Don't think, just do has spared me the agony that attends the procrastination. It has helped me get over that hump that feels insurmountable some days--the hump of beginning. Once I've begun I'm almost always happy, so why is it so hard to start? I don't know. But I'm going to use this trick for as long as it keeps working.