You know how dogs sometimes circle their beds before they lie down to sleep? Or cats hunch down in the grass, waiting, waiting, waiting for the right moment to pounce on the mouse?
That’s me when it comes to starting a piece of writing. I circle, stare, wait and circle again. I delay, I read over my notes, I get up, I sit down. I write a sentence and then back away and circle some more, then try again. It’s not just my own creative writing; I even do this before settling in to write a story for the newspaper I freelance for.
The pre-writing circling kind of bugs me…it takes time, after all, and when there are deadlines, time is important. I suppose the circling is a way for my brain to start organizing the pieces that will make up the whole of an article or essay. But until I actually get going on a piece of writing, it’s like a stutter. I keep starting, but can’t get the words out.
Some people are gifted with the ability to just sit down and crank things out. I am not one of those people. At least not until I’ve gotten started and written a few sentences or paragraphs. Often, the time circling and getting started will take twice as long as the writing of the rest of the piece. Weird.