I’ve been reading Terry Brooks since I was twelve. (Yes that's 13 year-old-me nerding out at Christmas 1985-style with perm and bangs included!)
He was the first author I picked out on my own. Everything I had read up until then was either a recommendation or stolen from my sister’s bookshelf ☺. Once I got my hands on his books I’ve been reading them ever since. And I’m spoiled, he writes a lot of books!
My favorite of all time is Elfstones of Shannara the second book in the Shannara series! And now they're making a TV show of it on MTV. So. Excited. I even painted some fan art years ago!
I met him once when I was fifteen. My mom and dad drove me to the mall to get all my paperback books signed. When I stood in the long line waiting anxiously to meet my hero, I realized that everyone else (which happened to be all adults, I was the only kid) had hard cover books for him to sign. I immediately felt self-conscious (a symptom of teenager-hood) and I made my dad hold my large stack of paperbacks and I picked just one for him to sign. The beat up, falling apart, “Sword of Shannara.” (As you can see, I read these book A LOT! Lol)
When my mom and I finally arrived in front of Mr. Brooks, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything but just stare at him. I was in fifteen-year-old awe at the fact that my genuine hero was sitting in front of me. He was so nice!
At my lack of speaking ability he assumed my mom was there for the signing, but my mom quickly told him it was, in fact, the mute standing beside her.
He tried everything to get me to talk. He just kept smiling and being the extremely kind person he is. Finally he held up a book from each of his series and asked me to point to which one I liked best. I pointed to the Shannara book and he said, “What if I told you I’m going to come out with a new Shannara book next year.”
Inside I was bursting with excitement. I couldn’t believe it! He hadn’t written a Shannara book in years. (This was 1988 and Brooks hadn’t released a Shannara book since 1985 and in kid years 3 years is an eternity, remember waiting between Star Wars films, torture!!)
So I finally uttered my first words to the man that was about to write another book in my favorite series.
I said (and I’m not kidding), “No.”
I meant, “Nooooooo, really???? Holy crap, that’s amazing!!” But all that came out was a very small, “No.”
My mom laughed and said I was just nervous which thank goodness Mr. Brooks already figured out. He was just as kind as can be and signed my brand new “Wizard at Large” book and my falling apart “Sword of Shannara.” Such a great guy.
This experience is probably why I always shy away from meeting anyone I admire for fear of becoming an embarrassing mute again! But, thank goodness Mr. Brooks was understanding and just plain cool about the whole ordeal.
There’s just nothing like reading a good book. It’s the love of stepping into another place and feeling like you're there and you know these people intimately.
That’s why I love writing so much. It’s such an amazing feeling creating your own world and the characters in it. I just hope people have as much fun reading my books as I did writing them!
Every human being suffers from procrastinating! Some more than others, but I happen to be a black belt in the field! Of course, I disguise it as excuses, such as:
· I have to clean my house! It’s disgusting! I can’t write in an environment like this! Cluttered space = cluttered brain!
· I have so many errands I have to do! I need groceries! I can’t write without food! I have to go to the post office! Oh crap! I really need Q-tips! I better go out and get some. Just think how much easier it will be to write, if I don’t have to think about all the errands I have to run!
· That Battlestar Gallactica poster I got as a present has been in a tube since Christmas. I really need to get a frame and hang it on my wall. You know, for inspiration!
All lies! This is a masterful way of procrastinating, convincing yourself that certain things have to get done in order for you to do your work. What’s funny is that you end up doing way more work than you would have if you just would have sat down and did whatever it was you were trying to avoid!
So what do I do?
I admit, I give in to the Procrastination-Monster more often than I care to admit.
But mostly, I’ve learned to defeat the beast. Mostly.
Here are 3 ways I use to stop procrastination in its tracks:
1) Reward system.
This works wonders for me! I think of something I really, really, really want to do, whether it’s a TV show I haven’t watched yet, or the next chapter of a book I’m currently reading. Then I set up a system for the day such as: For every 1,000 words of writing I can watch one show or read one chapter. Whatever the reward is though, it has be something so tempting that it forces you to get your work done!
Sprints are another great tool to break out of procrastination-mode. If you’re a writer, you simply pick a chunk of time, even 10 minutes can be extremely beneficial. Set your timer and ready, set, go! Write for the full 10 minutes. I usually do hour sprints because it’s enough time to crank out at least 500 words depending on how my creative juices are flowing.
By doing sprints, it jolts your brain out of making excuses. Everyone has 10 minutes to spare. And even if you only work for those 10 minutes, you’ll still feel a million percent better for having done it.
3) Accountability Partner.
This works for almost everything! Having someone who is going through the same avoidance-of-work issues you are helps immensely. From arranging sprints during the day, to meeting up to work together can break you out of the procrastination cycle.
I’m lucky and have several people I can call on to help me through my writing droughts. Just by having another person cheer you on and help you focus can jump-start your brain to where it needs to be to accomplish your task!
These 3 things work best for me! What do you do to tame the Procrastination-Beast?
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)