Friday, August 3, 2012

The Three-Sentence Trick

I've discovered a miraculous new writing trick this summer.

Whenever I'm feeling stalled on a project -- be it short story, longer WIP, or even a poem -- I force myself to write three sentences. Or, in the case of poetry, three lines.

Three sentences isn't much. So it's pretty easy to do, no matter how frustrated and stalled and emotionally strung out I am. "Just three sentences, and I can stop. C'mon. Not that hard." And if I honestly can't think of anything else to write after period #3, I allow myself to put down that project...until I have to write another three sentences, of course.



However, that doesn't happen very often.

The three-sentence trick often gets the wheels turning just enough to launch me into pages and pages of writing. It's a great way to trick your own brain into thinking you're not going to write very much. It's just enough to get you started, to ignite the "OMG I forgot I actually love doing this!" spark in your writerly brain. Even if it doesn't spark any sparks, it's a good start to the discipline of writing something -- even as little as three sentences -- every day.

Perfect for those of us who lack the time and/or discipline to write every day. By tricking ourselves into thinking we don't have to write as long or as much -- it's just a measley three sentences, after all -- we trick ourselves into writing more.