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INNER SPRITES

Everyone has an inner child. And almost all of us have inner demons. I’m fortunate that I don’t have too many of the latter, but I’ve definitely got more than my share of a certain kind of troublemaker I’ve decided to call my inner sprites. They love to cause chaos, to distract a person from schedules, goals, and plans, and to generally drive their host or hostess crazy.

As bad as inner demons are, they at least serve a purpose by helping you work through issues so you can possibly arrive at some eventual peace of mind.

But inner sprites? Their only goal is to disrupt. You can almost hear them giggling sometimes!

You’re trying to get something done. Then they whisper in your ear: Just go to pottery barn dot com and see if they have a red lamp. Check it out quickly, then you can get back to work. How long can it take?

Well we all know how long it can take! Two freaking hours, minimum. Because you don’t just look at red lamps, do you? You have to look at everything. Then you have to check out crate and barrel too. And target. Sheesh!

And that’s just the minor nuisances these sprites can cause. How about the big ones? Like when you’ve got a deadline in less than three weeks, and you’re right on target page-wise. If you stay on task, you’ll finish your first draft ahead of schedule! Then a sprite or two starts whispering in your ear, distracting you, suggesting provocative new plot ideas for you to play around with.

Don’t confuse these sprites with your Muse. That’s a dangerous mistake.

And I’m not talking about writer’s block either. I’m talking about a perfect good work-in-progress – you know exactly what you want to happen in the next scene and the next. You even have half of the dialogue sketched out in longhand already! All you have to do is prop your notepad up next to your computer and key the words into it.

But the sprites are playing with your head. Just five minutes to jot down some notes on the new plot before you forget it. Five minutes, then you’re back to the real book. And you’ll be all refreshed. It’s good for your creativity….

I’ve been fighting these little devils all day. All week, if you want to know the truth. I’m so close to the end of CHARADE I can taste it. Plus, I love that story and I’m dying to write those final scenes. But somehow the time keeps getting away from me. I go to pottery barn. Amazon. I daydream about first names for my next protagonist. I rearrange my office.

It’s those sprites, I tell you! And they’d better cut it out because I’ve got a book to finish. Sigh…

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