I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars. It’s a weekly date I have with my daughter, who watches with the phone in her hand so that she can vote IMMEDIATELY for her favorite pairs.
Time and time again, I’ve heard the professional dancers tell their stars: “Don’t think. Just dance.” We all see what happens when the celebrities think too much during the performance: The dancing is tight, stilted. They enjoy it less. We enjoy it less.
From a writing standpoint, I can vouch for the validity of “not thinking” and just doing. It’s important to remember to have fun despite all the difficulties and frustrations you may be experiencing. It’s when you let loose, when you push away those encroaching thoughts of “can I do this” or, worse, “I can’t do this,” that the “magic” indeed happens — your fingers type without you realizing what you’re doing, just as the dancers’ feet glide adeptly through the routine they’ve practiced again and again.
Last night, I nearly finished my chapter-by-chapter synopsis of Baby Grand — something readers of this blog know I’ve been working on over the past few days as a way to unblock. I think it worked. I feel better about what I’m trying to achieve. There were a few surprises along the way — scenes that didn’t make sense that will need adjustment, gaps that will need to be filled, characters that may be left on the editing floor. And there were times during that process when I thought, “How will I fix this?” and then sat back and closed my eyes and suddenly the answer was there. Like magic.
Don’t think. Just write.
When I do, I realize: Hey, I enjoy this. It makes me happy. If I didn’t, why would I be here?
Which brings me to Kate Gosselin, star-partner to poor, poor Tony Dovolani on Dancing with the Stars. Why on earth is she there?