…whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous dedication, or to take arms against a sea of distractions, and by opposing, end them.
OK, I’m no Bard, but I think that sums up my day quite nicely. I did spend a great deal of my afternoon and evening attempting to ignore all the little things that can get in the way of powering through and reaching the goal you’ve set yourself.
There was washing up to be done. Would my mind be more at ease and creative if this minor chore had been taken care of? I’ll never know how creative I would have been if it wasn’t done, because I did in fact scrub those dishes, telling myself I was thinking of a good opening while I scrubbed…
OK, sat down, ready to write. Wait! I don’t have a coffee! Must have a coffee by my side to write. Back to the kitchen I went.
One of my best friends called. Do I ignore the call, and appear rude? No, no, that would be unthinkable. Can’t be rude to one of the people who always faithfully buys a hard copy of my books (and has in fact done so for my recently released Silver Soldiers, so I’m glad I took the call). Still, another twenty minutes of potential writing time gone.
Three paragraphs in, I look up, wondering how to start the next paragraph. I see my guitar. Realise it has been a while since I played…one or two songs can’t hurt, can they? Might even get the old creative juices flowing, art feeding art and all that. Another forty five minutes disappeared.
Right, time to get serious. An hour of solid writing occurs, I am flying, I am dedicated, I am a writer! Of rubbish. Reading it back I realise it has the wrong voice for the character whose point of view I am trying to portray. In a fit of pique I select the last hour’s work and press Delete.
Stop. Pause. Take a breath. I stepped away, moved to a different room, got my mind a thousand miles away from futuristic bounty hunters, assassins and the sudden absence of sharp, witty dialogue in my brain, and smiled for the first time that afternoon. Afternoon became evening, and suddenly there it was. The opening lines I’d been looking for, the voice of the character I wanted to come alive on the pages, the humour and “me-ness” that had been missing from y previous hour’s distracted work.
The chapter flowed, and I maintained my Chapter a Day work rate. It was a close run thing, though…
Today’s reward went to my frequent writing companion Wade, pictured above. He told me to take a break, and he was right. Actually what he said was “let’s go the pub and sort all this wordy stuff out when we’ve had a few, yeah?”, but I got what he meant. Sometimes it’s ok to walk away from your beloved project and relax for a bit.
I think I’m learning as I go, with this whole authoring thing. And what I learned today was that sometimes, no matter how hard you push yourself, you should just step back and allow the procrastination to happen. You’ll feel better for it. And the dishes will be clean.
Till next time, Stay Frosty, People.