Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer

The work must be done. It must be done and all the tricks to avoid starting eventually have to be unmasked and ignored.

The beginning of the new year is as good a time as any to make promises to myself. Most of my promises are bullshit, and I know that about me. But I can’t let my self-deceptions keep me immobilized. So, the work must be done.

The feeling I have brings up an image of a cat, muscles twitching and bunching, feet feeling for purchase, something to push off of. You know the look of coiling springs when a cat is about to launch itself at something? That’s how this feels. We all have our own rituals. One of mine is to read good writing, sometimes for days, and letting the ideas and the words wrap themselves around something inside and get it excited.

So it is when the work must be done. I find words like these and use them to pull me back to the chair, fight the resistance with action, ignore my own whining, and pounce.

Hello again, “Running Girl”. Let’s go do interesting things to each other, shall we?

Over the years, I’ve found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. A simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write.

NORMAN MAILER

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