13 Jul

Getting Back on the Horse

Posted in Process, Writing

Dear loyal readers,

How I’ve missed you and this (virtual) space.  My apologies for the almost-week-long hiatus but I was struck down by a nasty summer flu and spent the week in a cough-medicine-induced stupor.

Well, that was until Sunday.  After that, the worst of the flu had passed but I got hit by writing paralysis (which often happens if I’m away from writing for too long).

Which brings me to the subject of this post.  What do you do when you need to get back on the horse?

I often have a hard time figuring out what to do and tend to wallow a bit too long in my non-writing.  Usually, a deadline will crop up and I’ll be forced to produce something which breaks the cycle, but now that I’m done with the MFA, deadlines are a lot more flexible and self-imposed.  This scares the besneezes out of me because it means I don’t have someone else helping me get back on the horse… I have to get up all on my own.

 So tell me, what do you do when you need to jolt yourself back into a writing routine?  I know, I know… BIC (Butt In Chair) and all that, but do you have any tricks to get yourself past that initial paralysis?

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a short anecdote.

The Alf Incident
When I was a kid, I used to ride; I went to riding school, even won a couple of ribbons at a show or two.  One day, as I was practicing my jumps with a horse aptly named Alf, I learned the true meaning of the phrase “get back on the horse.”

See, Alf and I had a slight difference of opinion: I wanted him to go over the jump and he wanted to go around it.  Instead, I ended up going headfirst into the jump (thank goodness for helmets!) and ended up on the ground.  My riding teacher insisted I get back on immediately and ride around the ring a few times, show Alf who was boss.  Apparently Alf was boss because as soon as I got on and tried to canter around the ring I lost control again and ended up getting thrown into the ring fence.

After a trip to the ER I ended up being perfectly fine, just some scrapes and bruises and a bad headache.  That double fall, though, terrified my parents and thereafter they refused to drive me to  riding school.  Dad joked that I could ride to my lessons, but seeing as I had no horse, that option was out.  Not to mention, that I had a slight communication problem with horses as it was, and I probably would’ve ended up halfway across Connecticut in the opposite direction.


Comments on this post

  1. Michelle Davidson Argyle says:

    Aww, good luck getting back into the swing of things! I just have to let things run their course. I can't force anything, because if I do, I always regret it. Writing prompts help, and so does reading great fiction.

    1. Merrilee says:

      No secrets from me! I sit in the chair, if I write, I write, if I don't, I don't. But more often than not, if I start, I write.

      Don't stress about it. You've written a blog post, and that's writing. Write more of those, and see if your rhythm will come back.

      1. gabi says:

        Thanks for the encouragement!

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