How I Trick Myself into Getting to Work—Part II

David Abrams

Like a mother encouraging her frightened son to move closer to the end of the diving board high above the swimming pool, I chant a simple mantra to my reluctant inner child of a writer: “Just one sentence. Just write one sentence and then you can call it quits for the day.” It’s sad, I suppose, that I have to trick myself into writing, but for whatever reason the “just one sentence” chant almost always makes me mad enough to sit down, open the laptop, and start typing with irritated determination (“I’ll show you! I’ll write more than one sentence! Ha!”). Many sentences later, I’ll look up from the notebook or the computer screen and realize I’ve once again bamboozled myself into another productive writing session. And then I’ll wonder why I was ever afraid of springing off the board into a perfect swan dive.

Emily Gilbert