More like fire ants

{ Wednesday, April 2, 2008 }

At my job as a technical writer (or as we're calling ourselves now, content specialist) there are weeks when a host of small projects swarms up and prevents me from zeroing in on the main piece of writing I need to do.

I call these small projects chiggers.

I'm in a similar spot at home. The characters in my novel are practically shouting at me, pleading with me. I HAVE TO WRITE THEM. It is not an intellectual impulse. It is more like the predatory, brain-stem impulse of my dog who wakes from deep sleep already knowing there's a squirrel in the yard.

I want to chase my squirrels. It makes my heart happy. Instead, I am nailing down the details on projects that will be good for my larger Sunspot Press pursuits: writing new web pages and new web content. Dinking with the format of a new e-mail newsletter.

And it is slow work, dispatching these fire ants, or, more appropriately, herding them into a fire ant farm. It is work I am happy to do, because I anticipate happy results. But when I'm ready to write something down, anything that's not writing that thing is like an ailment.

So to keep from becoming one of those people who groans on about her ailments, I'm going to promise myself 100 words tomorrow. And I'm going to let my dog outside every time she leaps to the window, because Annabelle, I'm feeling you.

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