‘Don’t just do something, sit there!’

Photo by Brad Neathery

Time passes. It is going to pass no matter what you do. So, you may as well spend it in the company of your novel. Take time out of your busy schedule to sit with your novel. It is better to sit there and struggle and stare at it than to avoid it altogether for fear of what will happen, or for the fact that you find it hard to do. Just sit there, set your watch.

Set your watch for an hour. A lunch break or coffee break will do at a push, but if you can carve out a full hour to sit with your novel then so much the better. Get out your things. Get out your magnum opus, your deluded scribblings, or your dead and empty pages. Get out your work notes. Sit there, and stare at them. Just sit there, be mindful. Allow whatever fear and nervousness that arises to come to the surface. Sit with it. Sit with all your pain, all your thoughts, all your worrying. And for the longest time possible, do nothing other than look at your work. Then, when you can’t stand it any longer, begin writing.

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