January 27, 2008
Because I Had Nothing Else to Do
Late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, I finally completed a draft of a writing project I’d been avoiding/ preparing for for weeks. I agreed in November to have this project done by the end of January, but I just couldn’t make myself start, really start. Oh, I did things like research Chinese characters, and try out different beginnings in my head, but I just couldn’t sit down in front of the computer and write it write it. I don’t know why not, because it was a project I’d wanted to write for years, and I was glad to have a reason to do it. I don’t know why not, because it wasn’t beyond my capacities or outside of my creative focus. I don’t know why not, because I certainly managed to write other things--blog entries and emails and journal entries and so forth--instead of the one thing I had promised to write.
Not only did I write other things, I got other tasks out of the way as well as I geared up to do this piece. The reason I finally watched that documentary on the Mormons was that it was a way of avoiding this writing project. In fact, in the ten days before I finally sat down and wrote this thing, I was super-duper productive. I worked hard on all sorts of projects--I even plan to post photos of a few of them tomorrow. It got to the point where, by early Tuesday evening, I really didn’t have anything else to do but this writing project.
So I sat down and drafted a letter informing the editor I’d promised to send the piece to why I couldn’t write it. And then I just said, “Fuck it; I’m gonna try; it won’t kill me; if I don’t write it now, I don’t know when I’ll ever write it; blah blah blah; ick ick ick; type type type.”
And in not that many hours I had a really solid draft that I liked a lot. I went to bed, got up and started fiddling with it the next day because I am a compulsive reviser; sent it to a friend who agreed to proofread it and give me feedback; got the feedback; made a few more changes; printed out a hard copy and wrote a cover letter. It all goes in the mail tomorrow.
And I just don’t know why I had this problem. I’ve had writer’s block before but that wasn’t what was going on here; I knew I could write the piece, I just didn’t want to. I didn’t used to have much trouble starting projects, but lately, I do. I don’t like it. That sort of shows in my performance here lately; my work ethic just isn’t what it used to be.
I have to think about this some more.
Posted by holly at January 27, 2008 9:06 AM