Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not much progress

Blogging three times a week keeps me accountable to myself. Every day I sit down to blog I have to look at the progress I’ve made, that I’m here to report. Since Jan 1, I’ve made vanishingly little progress, and I feel guilty about that.

Monday, I started writing my synopsis. I don’t know what the guidelines for a professional synopsis are, but mine is a bulleted, chronological list of “what God knows” about my story. The third-person-omniscient survey of the barebones events, (mostly) lacking adjectives and adverbs, to keep things straight. This is going to be helpful, but it does resemble outlines I’ve made in the past, and my writing tends to have a bare fingerhold on the outline by the time I’m done with the story.

Still, for now, it will help.

As usual, I avoidance-behaviored until I didn’t have enough time left to finish my synopsis before having to run off to the next engagement, so I didn’t. Still, starting it was good, and the stuff I got down definitely helped me line up some limes. If I can just turn Blogging, and synopsis-writing, and other things that start to tickle my creative armpit turn into actual productive writing, I’ll be set.

So, how do I slay the dragon of inaction? Every time I talk to my therapist about feeling creatively blocked, this is what she always asks me. I always feel like shouting, “I don’t know! If I did, I wouldn’t be here complaining about it!” But it’s not like she can tell me how to fix it. I have to figure it out for myself. So, like I have so many times before, I will now enumerate the things I can do to help slay the dragon.

  • Do what needs doing first, first. (Shower, breakfast.)
  • Do the next things, next. (Check feeds.)
  • After those things are done, if there are more things that need done, do them. (Lunch.)
  • Then write.
Do Not:
  • Turn on Netflix “just while I’m eating lunch.”
  • Play phone games.
  • Play computer games.

If I can follow this list of things, I should be able to make steady progress on my story. It helps immensely to keep in mind that this isn’t impossible; it’s not even really hard. It’s just a matter of habit and keeping things “the right size.” Everyone is rooting for me, and there are several people who may actually be mad at me if I don’t finish this book. So... I’m gonna birth this goddamned story if it tears me apart! And then I’ll spend the next 50 years or so lecturing it about how long I was in labor. (Baddum ching.)

I’m gonna do it with the wide-open eyes of a person who hasn’t yet learned that being creative is hard work. A person who thinks “improving” instead of “failing.” A person who doesn’t question why, she does it because it must be done, and because she must do it, and it’s as simple as that.

So I’m gonna wrap up this post and get to it now. I wish I could share it with you!

No comments: