Wednesday, October 14, 2009
And there's the prob -
Yesterday, I found time (despite eye infection) to sit through several episodes of Psyche (have been buying the seasons, am addicted). I didn't find time to write a single word in my WIPS.
One excuse I have is legit - watching TV is non-participitary. Means, I can just sit there and watch. Or if my eyes hurt too much, I close them and listen. I don't have to think or reason, or hammer away at the keyboard. I just sit there. And sometimes I let myself drift off and think of other things (sometimes writing) or gab with whoever I'm watching TV with.
For most people (like me) writing demands your entire attention, focus, interest, energy, and heart. When you are at the very end of tolerance (as in the ability to gather yourself and do something), you can barely function in the evenings.
Where I lose legitimacy is when I spend the forty-five minutes or so of free time between TV and bed playing with HTML codes - as I did last night. Never mind I couldn't keep my eyes open, or how much they hurt to stay open. I was DETERMINED to figure something out and get my one blog page to LOOK RIGHT. That determination kept me going until I had accomplished what I wanted.
A good portion of the ability to write (even when YOU DON'T WANT TO!) is determination.
That's something I had to acknowledge twice yesterday. The second time was when I closed my computer down last night without clicking into a Word doc and felt guilty.
The first time was when I stopped over at MSFV to see the good news Authoress had re/one of her readers and contest participants. Read about it here. Going by her interview with Authoress, and then her blog, Steph sounds like a plucky and smart teen, who's going after what she wants and kudos to her.
The first thing I saw of the interview and the thing that struck me the hardest as a writer was the following bit:
STEPH: I think my writing is at the stage it's at right now due to one thing: writing. I write a lot and often. I don't talk about writing or think about writing or read books about writing. I just write. I don't particularly enjoy thinking of myself as a writer, I just love the act of writing.
When I was a teen, I had the same mentality, but sort of lost it a little as I grew up and got the day job. Writing took second place to a lot of things - including my own needs. Not saying I'm going to sacrifice my own needs for the sake of writing, but I've often wished I could get that "I love this" feeling back.
Just like any other kind of love affair, it isn't something that dependably is always alive and vivid and warm. You start slipping up and taking it for granted, and it begins to grow cold and tiresome. A responsibility. The ball and chain. A WALL.
That's where the determination is necessary. You have to SIT DOWN and write, even when it's hard and near impossible. For the sake of 'mentality' - set lower goals and surround yourself with good influences. If you spend 90% of your free time hanging out with a writing club that's all about procrastinating... it can become even tougher trying to stay on track.
When you start to feel and see the rewards, that's when it gets a bit easier. The burnt out days and middle-of-the-night worries go away, replaced by the "just ten more minutes, I have one more paragraph to write' bargains with your long-suffering roommate.
Imagine me standing in front of a mirror, because all of this advice is such that I NEED to start taking myself. :)