This past weekend I went "camping" with the hubby. I put "camping" in quotes because this was lightweight camping unfamiliar to this Alaskan. This was camping in a campsite with neighbors camping twenty feet away in their RVs and with running water and toilets. This was not real camping.
However, despite this Washington camping experience, I was hoping that it would jumpstart my Muse and reinvigorate my writing. Sadly, I am several days returned from "camping" and have found that not to be the case. So now comes the moment when I must demand my Muse's presence.
Who was it that said, "I write when I am inspired, and I see to it that I am inspired at nine o'clock every morning?"* That is the point I am at this week. While there are a million things I could be doing and a million others that must be done, I intend to carve out 15-30 minutes for myself today and write.
I am working on a new WIP, a short story, for a class I am currently taking, and I have a deadline for it. I've got to get about half of it written by that deadline. While this is a short story, I've made it more complex than some of my classmates', and I've got several thousand words to write before I meet that halfway mark. So I'll be powering through that soon, I am sure. I just need the time to sit down and write.
So instead of pretending that I don't have to write, or taking a break while my family is in town, or while we work on some projects around the house, or otherwise making excuses, I intend to demand my Muse's presence by sitting down to write and placing my fingers on the keyboard.
Time to write.
*footnote: And after a quick Google search, that appears to be Peter De Vries.
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L'Engle
I am in the middle of cleaning out my office. I'm not quite sure if this is a distraction technique from my writing (entirely possible), or something else. It needs to be done, sure, as it's become a dumping ground for things that I don't want to deal with at the moment, receipts, boxes, chairs, blankets, etc. In beginning to clean it out, I've been slowly realizing that I am a book hoarder. My shelves have long since been full, with books stacks sideways upon books and doubled, sometimes tripled up on shelves.
There's just something about me that makes me reluctant to give up a book. I can always find some excuse to keep it. Oh, I loved it? Better not get rid of it; I like to reread favorites. Oh, it was only so-so? Well, its resale value is low, I'd better keep it. Oh, I liked it, a friend gave it to me? Better keep it.
I have a problem. I'm reluctant to part with a book. Any book. Especially a favorite. I'm one of those who buys multiple copies of a favorite--one reading copy, one copy to keep pristine.
But I'm trying to change. In my office, I ruthlessly went through each shelf and removed books I didn't enjoy the first time around, but had purchased for a book club or other reason, and put them in a box. I filled up two boxes in this way. My plan is to sell them on Amazon or give them away if their resale value isn't worth the headache of selling.
It's a slow process to let go of books, but…it can be done.
(Note: I also hoard ebooks, but I'm denying that as a problem until my iPad fills up…)
Okay, I'm a few days late on this insecure post. I thought I would have time to write this before Wednesday, then Wednesday came and went, and I fell far behind. Which is kind of my insecurity this month. While I'm feeling more confident about my writing these days, feeling like I've gotten the hang of things a bit, the thing I have been struggling with is making time for my writing.
This is an age-old problem, I know. But it seems the more "adult" I get, the less time I have to do what I want. There are always other things battling for my time: laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, writing critiques, relationships, sleep, etc. It seems there are a million excuses I could throw out there to not write. My heart wants to, but there have been some days where I have felt so under the weather with headaches or from lack of sleep lately, that although I've had "time" to write, it feels like I don't have the concentration to accomplish anything.
As a result, I've had a couple of no-writing days, and that's just bad--no matter how you look at it.
On the plus side, I am in an online class right now which is on developing a short story from start to finish, so it's at least gotten me thinking of writing and planning and plotting. I try to remind myself on these days of no writing to pick up a book and read a lot, for I know there's much to be learned from reading. But on days with a horrible headache/neck-ache (remnants of a car crash years ago), it's hard to even do that.
So this month I am going to focus on getting back on a schedule which carves out specific time for myself. Perhaps I need to revisit making weekly goals for myself and meeting those goals. Since there has been so much more going on lately, I know that I will have to keep my goals simple, but if I have goals, I will be motivated meet them and more motivated to get work done.
So here's to a productive September!
"Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation."
--Graham Greene, actor