When I was a cheerleader in middle school, we had a cheer whenever one of the basketball guys went up to the freethrow line. Right before they threw the ball, we shouted, “CONCENTRATE!”

That’s what I’ve been telling myself lately especially when it comes to writing. It doesn’t help that I’m trying to get over a cold. But last week, I added about 2,000 words in my current work-in-progress–and that’s after a month of not even touching it. I realized I had stuck myself in a corner with the plot, and I didn’t want to fix it, even though it was a quick fix. I was just holding myself back; I was being lazy, procrastinating. Then, I sent out my first short story submissions for this year and an hour later, one of the stories came back rejected. Yippee. Instead of feeling dejected, I channeled my energy into that novel again and unstuck myself! I fixed that minor point in my story and the story suddenly came back to life and started moving again!

So, I’m glad I got up to that freethrow line, and I’m glad I concentrated!