Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why Aren't You Done Yet?

Writing is never done, as in finished. I think it was Robert Frost who said that we finally abandon a poem. I'm trying hard not to abandon a whole lot of poems and stories, but ennui has set in, a preference for mindless TV and watching the birds in the backyard. I'm strangely attracted to dead- heading petunias, watering day lilies, feeding the neighbor's cats while she's traveling. I am not much attracted to putting the last efforts into a chapbook that is 90% done or working on one that has been long out of print and deserves, maybe, reissue. I cannot bring myself to edit or revise or create new. I have kept my promise to an online group in which we each write a new piece per week and share them. But even with this project, I'm hiking uphill.

Maybe this is summer sloth. It's hot and getting hotter. Of course, I have nothing to complain of: not digging ditches or fighting wildfires. Not training horses or planting row on row of garden produce. Not harvesting lettuce. So many things that I don't have to deal with. So why drag around my chosen work as if it were a bag of rocks? Fear. Fear of finishing and having no excuse to avoid the inevitable criticism that follows publication. As long as all these stories and poems sit quietly in their ms boxes and notebooks, no one can tell whether I'm a hack or not. No one but me and my inner critic. I wish she would go on vacation. I'd feed her cats. Oh, wait, she doesn't have cats. She has me, her pet iguana with as much talent with words as a lizard sunning on a rock.

No comments: