Imagine you’re in a time warp. You’re really reading this on Monday. Because I meant to hit POST instead of SAVE DRAFT on Monday. Not Tuesday. I know you can handle this because you, my dear reader, have a wonderful imagination.
Aside from one early appointment today and some errands to run, today was free (FREE!) to do some reading and writing.
So what did I do?
- I made piles of magazines to go to the recycling center.
- I clipped coupons from yesterday’s paper.
- I completely cleaned off the desktop and files of one computer and made a backup file.
- I enjoyed my coffee.
- I snuggled the cats (and ended up wearing all their fur).
- I emptied the vacuum cleaner.
- I chatted with a friend.
- I chatted with my mother.
- I organized my jewelry.
- I scrolled around on FB and Twitter.
- AND…I finally sat down and wrote.
I plugged myself into Write or Die! for a fifteen minutes to get myself unstuck while writing about Jo Knowles’s Monday Morning Warm-Up – finishing the statement, “Before I die, I want to _______.” First about me. Then about my characters.
This should have been so easy, but I realized how hung up I was on what I was going to say that I never did get to my characters before the time was up.
I started with a long list that looks like my bucket list. But I was analyzing those options as I typed them. Did it qualify as being the one thing I would write? Did it represent me? Was I overanalyzing this? Seriously.
Oh, you bet I was. This was a classic case of procrastination.
So I have been thinking about what happens here.
I promised myself I would do this. I would write every day and I would get something accomplished by the end of the summer. I would do this for me.
I do love to write, but it’s hard work. But I think it’s safer to say that Donalyn had it all right there when she quoted Dorothy Parker in her post on Kate Messner’s blog:
“I hate writing, I love having written.”
I think it’s also a case of perfectionism. I want to write something I feel good after I have written it. I want to know I’m on the right path with this story or that blog post or the eulogy for one more pet (we’ve done this for a goldfish and a guinea pig here in the last few weeks) or whatever I happen to be stringing words together for.
And nothing felt like it was coming out right.
It’s all pressure I have put on myself. And not one bit of it is helpful at all.
I just needed to remember what Gae told my students – first drafts are crap. I have all kinds of time to do revision…but I can’t revise a blank screen or blank page.
Know what? Words started showing up, one after another, and organizing my sock drawer seemed less and less interesting once I remembered that.
So what did I finally post? After all the fussing was over?
This was so much harder than it seemed like it would be when I read it this morning! All day…and I’m still pondering it.
(I’m having a wishy-washy, super-fidgety day. A great day for considering possibilities, but a lousy day for getting much on paper.)
For me: Before I die, I want to spend a summer traveling wherever the winds take us in an RV. Or go whole-hog and chuck everything and live in a yurt. A yurt with wifi. :)
For my MC: Before I die, I want to tell the truth.
(For the record, I have no idea where my story is going – I resurrected something I found on my computer that I honestly have little recollection of writing. It’ll be fun to see what happens next…)
Maybe later this week I’ll have a better idea of where things are going. I’m aiming to have something to share on Gae’s Feedback Friday.
That’s a pinky-swear to myself.
Thank you for reading this on “Monday.” You may go back to your regularly scheduled Tuesday.