Well, I forgot to do my weekly roundup, something I had vowed to be consistent on, which might be the perfect lead-in to what I was planning to write, anyway.
I’m sitting here eating cold English muffins and eggs as my new cat meows behind me. She just caught a spider a few minutes ago, and we’re both feeling smug. Like the ship cats of yore, she has a job to do in this household: kill things. Considering how enthusiastic she was to commit murder (after some light sadism) just now, I’m confident I hired the right feline for the job.
She’s also cute.
Anywho, my plan for the day consists of cleaning, errands, and writing. I always add writing to the list because, if I don’t, it would be considered giving up. Denial is the first step to not giving up! And it’s only denial until the day I actually check writing off of my to-do list.
One asset I’ve been adding to my arsenal of procrastination tools is PlanningTM. So many plans have been made, written, excel-d, google-doc’d, notebooked, and google kept over the past few weeks. Plans are pretty things that exist in a realm meant for those who can follow them. I made a plan to alternate between working on Guides and … an older story.
That’s my cycle, if no one has noticed yet. I get a new idea I’m excited about (ABO! Inherited!) and then I think back to all my old, less exciting WIPs and think, wow man, like I’m never going to finish shit ever. Whiskey? The Only Light? Wasn’t I excited about them at some point???
So I erase Plan A. I open a new page of my notebook or whatever I’m writing my delusions in that day and list: THE ONLY LIGHT. FINISH.
Seems doable. The second step in my CycleTM is to pull up the first chapter of the old story, thinking I’ll do some light editing as I refresh myself on the story, and then I have an allergic reaction to the words and die.
At that point, I don’t want to write anymore. I don’t want to start something new, and I cannot stomach old shit. The nascent spark of creativity flickers and then goes out. Womp womp.
(I just gave Chata my plate of cold egg scraps and now at least one of us is happy).
I think every writer is jealous of what they perceive another writer has. For me, it’s the ability to focus on one project until it’s done that makes me seethe. MUST BE NICE, I say as I turn on Breath of the Wild and ignore the world. If dabbling in the LGBT publishing world has taught me anything, it’s that I am not a book writer… yet. I’m an occasional poster.
Again, though, that sounds like giving up.
I used to get mad at my mom for randomly deciding we were going to make healthy smoothies for breakfast every morning or for buying endless gluten-free cookbooks when she never used recipes from the old ones. I knew none of these ambitions would pan out. One time, I finally said just that. “You’ll never actually follow through with it.”
She looked at me and replied, “So what’s the alternative? Just give up and do nothing?”
I felt ashamed. For one thing, my attitude had sprung from how my dad always talked about my mom. She never finishes anything. Secondly, it never occured to me that giving up was the alternative to optimism. If she didn’t keep trying, then nothing would ever happen.
Most likely, I will make another plan tomorrow. I’ll add writing as an objective, and maybe pick one old story to work on. If it doesn’t happen, there’s always the next day.