Hit the Page Running

My mantra when I finally sit down to work is

Hit the page running.

What I mean by that is to plunge in immediately.

Mo Collins as Sarah Rabinowitz on “Fear the Walking Dead”

First minute.

First second.

First millisecond.

Why do I do this?

Resistance.

I don’t want to give Resistance the slightest opening to worm its way into my brain and start me “thinking.”

No dawdling.

No cogitating.

No mulling over.

Start.

Get to work.

Get into the flow.

If I’m working on Draft #1 of a new project, I will pick up immediately where I left off yesterday. Without “thinking,” I’ll continue telling the story. If I left off yesterday with Uncle Pismo clutching a double-bladed axe in both hands as the leader of the zombies hurtles toward him across the work floor of the abandoned noodle factory, I’m gonna have Pismo sling that weapon first thing.

I wanna get into that fight as fast as I can.

Into the story.

Into the flow.

Remember, our enemy in writing our novel or screenplay is not plot or theme or characters.

Our enemy is Resistance.

If I’m working on Draft #11 of a project, the work is easier. I have pages already. I’ve got the characters, the story, the theme. Momentum is already there on the page.

Still I’ll plunge in, Minute One, without hesitation and without thought.

Pick up where I left off and keep going.

I might go slowly. I might be focusing intently on single words and single beats of punctuation. But I’m relentlessly pushing forward without letting Resistance, in any of its manifold manifestations, weasel its way in.

It goes without saying, I have turned off all external sources of distraction.

No phone.

No e-mail.

No Instagram.

No Facebook.

I am on an ice floe in Antarctica.

I’m circling alone at 70,000 feet.

I’m on the moon.

Barring a zombie apocalypse or a family emergency, I will not turn my attention to anything that’s not happening inside my own demented brain.