Writing rough drafts stinks.

There’s no other way to say it. Minus those times when words just fly (which can be sadly few), writing rough drafts stinks. The general stinkiness often makes me avoid my rough draft’s eyes for days at a time like it’s a person I don’t want to see. I block the sight of it, chilling all alone on the back of my computer screen, with other windows: papers, assignments, blog, Twitter, Facebook, email, iTunes. I hide in my friends’ rooms and go out when I shouldn’t so I don’t have to see the evidence of my silly, misbehaving work-in-progress scattered all over my desk.

But this is bad. If I want to finish the rough draft in a reasonable amount of time, or at least in the next decade, I must put an end to it. I must! The question is how.

I’ve discovered that the old adage BIC HOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) fails me every time. Every single time. So after searching for a more relevant and useful acronym, I’ve come up with:

MOD HOL

See, I have no problem with the butt in chair or hands on keyboard thing. That’s easy. But even when I’m sitting down and typing away, I’m not necessarily being productive. Oh no. Like right now: I’m writing this blog post, BIC HOK, and all the while having guilty second thoughts about ignoring the WIP, which I actually should be working on instead.

But MOD HOL, Mind On Draft, Hands OffLine, leaves no room for excuses. Focus on the rough draft, not the internet. Think about the story, not the next tweet or blog post or NYT article (and oh boy, those NYT articles can be insanely distracting and entertaining…). But no. When you’re under the power of MOD HOL, you can do nothing but write. Excuse me while I go be productive.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Writing rough drafts stinks.

  1. I understand this completely. Being stuck is never fun, and I’m right about there now. I like to say I have Writer’s A.D.D., meaning I can’t focus on just one project at a time. My mind’s all over the place šŸ˜›

  2. I agree! BIC HOK is something I do all the time when I’m not in class or sleeping (like right now!), but MOD HOL is so much more specific. Definitely leaves no room for the brain to reason itself out of writing.

  3. Omg, NYT articles. So easy to get sucked up – reasoning, “This is really educational and good for me.” NOPE. Love Mod Hol haha!

  4. Jessi

    Ooh, I’m there with ya. Sat down to ‘work’ last night, read over the first chapter that I wrote, thought ‘ick’, then checked email, fb, blogs…

    Yes, creating a whole new world and people for the first time all over again is kind of a hard thing!

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