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Sheer Determination, I Guess
August 30, 2015
First, an advance apology. I seem to be thinking in movie analogies today.
Yes, yes, I know: it’s technically the 18th week since I started this journey. However, I took a week off to pursue another activity I love: canning. If you have read my FB posts, that effort was not without casualties. The volcanic jars were not quite as dramatic or well-timed, but I found I could laugh with more understanding at the scene in “Holiday Inn” (1942) when Bing Crosby’s peaches explode all over the dressing room ceiling. Seriously, faced with that rotten tomato stench, I had to laugh.
I’ve thought about the domestic debacle, and I have an idea as to why it happened. I simply broke my concentration and tried to cut corners. I screwed up. Today, however, I can honestly say that I admit the screw-up. I’ve paid for it (probably my husband and my children paid, in their own ways, as well). And I’ve learned. To paraphrase a movie and an actor, neither of whom I am particularly fond of, “I have to know my limitations.”
A good lesson for the writing I let slide last week to can and recover from exercise class (I still maintain the Pilates teacher and her co-conspirator who teaches Cardio Sculpt are trying to kill me after all). Before the Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes, I’d almost considered my current writing project a bust because I had where I’d left off and an idea of where the story needed to end up. That left about 1/6 to 1/3 remaining to be sorted. Perhaps more. I couldn’t say because I had lost the thread or the train of thought derailed or some such silly metaphor.
I felt I was writing just to write. This is a practice a whole lot of folks promote. I have several too many memes telling me I should be writing and don’t just sit there – write. The “Dickens wasn’t writing because he was inspired; he was inspired because he was writing” idea. Now, I concede the necessity to write at least five days a week. If you are super-author and can do seven, 365 days a year, good on you! I remain respectfully unconvinced that it is a viable tactic for the as yet un-self-supporting, unpublished author who holds down a job to help pay the bills.
That said, I made a promise to one I hold dear. Well, many promises (did I mention I was “diagnosed” about fourteen years ago as having adult ADD?), but the key one here is to write a certain number of words every day. I admit I let that slide in order to can and get over 2.5 sets of V-sit twists and other tortures in the name of health. I lost my concentration and tried to cut corners.
And all I can do now is to pick up where I left off and try again. For canning tomatoes and writing, I have to know my limitations. And then I have to try to pick up the threads to re-weave and get this train back on the rails.