26 September, 2011
Over the last couple of weeks, as I've tried to marry my new revelations about writing to the actual act itself, one thought keeps rolling through my head: sitting down to write is one of the hardest things I've ever done.
It seems as if there can’t be any other profession so full of avoidance techniques and excuses that the procrastination has become more of an art than the writing itself:
"There are just so many distractions - hey, was that a puppy dragging its leash across the yard? I've got to get a picture of that."
"There aren't enough hours in the day...wha-? Why is there drool on my keyboard?"
"I have to wait until I feel the story moving out of my head and through my veins and into my fingertips. Then I'll be ready to write."
That last one is a fond, well-worn friend of mine.
With the amount of time we spend making excuses as to why the stars haven't aligned to produce the perfect story, it's no wonder so many of us stagnate. Problem is, it's very comfortable in the swampy marsh of procrastination. You get to look like a writer while not having to do any of the work! And, if anyone looks too closely, you can always blame the unfairness of the corporate publishing world. Everyone knows how they are.
I've done this so many times I've lost count. Blamed everyone but myself, and here I still am. Dissatisfied and unfulfilled and trying not to look like an idiot who got caught sleeping on the job. I had to decide to just do it. It's tough and sometimes the love of it gets lost in the work. But at least I'm working towards something. Eventually, no matter how slowly I crawl, I'll arrive somewhere.
Weirdly, that's kind of a good feeling.