Monday, June 30, 2008

What Next?

Procrastination comes in many forms, distraction being the one I most often succumb to. For the past few days I have written little, concentrating on planting flowers, restocking my pantry, and coping with panic attacks in the dog, who relaxes once we go outside. Unfortunately, I cannot write while we walk off the anxiety or drive to the farmer's market. Oddly, all that market commotion doesn't bother Dog. But let a blackbird squawk here at home and he runs cowering to hide in a corner or sit as close to me as he can get. Today I left him at my daughter's house so that I can work. I managed a draft of a scene for the novel yesterday, so that will, I hope, grease the wheels and get me back into the story. I do morning pages faithfully, and often in that journaling I come up with ideas or bits of insight about the novel. And tell myself that sort of thinking on paper counts. But truth is, it adds little to the page/word count.

Putting off the writing is a vote of no confidence in myself, and that will get me nowhere. The only way writing works is for me to string the words together into coherent sentences and paragraphs. The growth is organic, cellular, necessary. And it won't happen unless I keep my mind at least halfway engaged. A bit of wool-gathering (does anyone use that metaphor now?) is fine, but making chicken soup is not a great way to write a novel, good for the body as it may be. Then there's the phone, solitaire, coffee, a bathroom break, my to-do list, email, a thousand excuses to interrupt the dream. Even now, I am putting words up here for all to see, and my characters are yelling in the back of my head, "What about us? Hey, you, writer, get back here. Remember that we bought a car yesterday? You said we would start packing for that road trip. And we cannot do anything without you. So get your weak little will over here and let's hit the highway." Okay, okay, I'm coming. I just have to make one hotel reservation for the third week in August and then I'll help you test drive that junker you bought from that cute salesman."

No comments: