I’ve had one of those days where there is plenty to do and I’m making progress, but it’s all in fits and starts. I’m working on preparations for NaNoWriMo, Write Along The Highway, and our local Young Writers Program. It’s amazing how involved projects like these become. Thankfully, knowing the positive impact it has on my local community is plenty of reward and I love the opportunity to meet with people who share my passion for writing. The thing is, all this project management and planning, letter writing, research, searching for sponsorship, and promotions and publicity all detract from time I could spend writing.
The thing is, all through the day I had the opportunity to settle into some writing, but instead found ways to avoid it. These sorts of projects are great procrastination tools. I feel validated, rewarded, and justified in spending my time doing those rather than working on my book. After all, I’m doing something for my community, for children, for fellow writers and the literary arts in Western Australia.
But now I’m running out of time before sleep descends. There are only so many hours in a day. Thankfully that deadline is making it more and more difficult to put off the real writing much longer. So, in a last ditch effort to avoid the writing I’m blogging. I plan to have a shower right after this too because water soothes. I’m hoping that the heat and steam will help calm the mind and agitation within me so that I feel comfortable moving forward.
What sorts of things do you do in the lead up to your writing time? Do you have a routine?
Steven Pressfield talks about routine and ritual in The War of Art. My current routine seems to involve a lot of avoidance but the real key is to make the decision to begin. That decision is accompanied by the opening of Scrivener and iTunes, plugging in my headphones and tucking them into my ears, and then clicking play on my current WIP playlist. Once the music starts I tend to find the groove comes down over me. The difficulty, and most of the anxiety and angst, comes in the pre-time before making that turning-point decision. And yet, every day it’s just as difficult to get to that decision point as it was the day before.
They lie when they tell you it gets easier. In my experience, it doesn’t. But then, perhaps I’m not the norm in that regard. Perhaps it’s my individual weaknesses. Perhaps it’s the way my Bipolar influences my mood states. Perhaps it’s any number of things that lead to this way I approach writing with mixture of dread and wonder. I don’t know if what I experience is normal. Do other writers feel like this? Do you experience it when facing your creative dreams?
And with that question, left to wander cyberspace and any fellow writer who comes across it, I’ll sign off, go have that shower, and click that play button. The decision is imminent.
“Every day we have a choice. We can live in fear or move forward in faith.” – Billy Cox
Today, I choose to move forward.