I’m behind on reverbs. Far enough behind that I thought about quitting but then the Puritan in my head spoke to me sternly (do Puritans ever say anything not sternly?) “you made a commitment to this project, so you have to stick with it.”
Not, of course, that anyone in reverb-land would know or miss my posts, but still. That Puritan is up there keeping score.
So here’s the prompt for Dec 6 (I told you I was behind): Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
This one kills me. I make stuff all the time: I make dinner, make lunchboxes, make snacks, make the bed. I make blog posts, I make Halloween costumes (sort of), I make bedtime stories.
None of it – with the exception of this blog – is really what I want to be making. What I want is to sink into a writing project the way I did two summers ago, when I was finishing revisions on a novel (unpublished, natch). Every day, five and six hours a day, I got my butt in the chair, as Stephen King says in his fabulous book on writing (yes, seriously, that Stephen King). I love having a big mass of paper to shove around, mark up, draw arrows and circles; revision, for me, looks a lot like a pre-school art project.
It’s creating that big mass of paper that’s the problem at the moment, however, which is why this question about “making” really hits home. I’ve got some notes, a few pages about this and that, but nothing solid…just random beginnings. The idea of trying to weave these ideas into a substantive whole feels daunting, utterly impossible. Are there are people out there who think that starting something new is exciting and challenging and filled with opportunity?
I hate being at the beginning; I like to already have written, to be already in the middle of whatever it is. Which is, of course, impossible. And so I spend untold hours (days, weeks) procrastinating, throat-clearing, doodling—and listening to that damn Puritan muttering that I’m just wasting time and I should be doing something professional or at least something useful, like cleaning the closets.
So yes, oh reverbers, there is something I want to make and “all” I need to do is clear the time. “Just say no,” as they say, to all that other crap that gets in the way? Put the Puritan in the (disorganized) closet, get my butt in the chair, and teach the boys how to call the Thai food place for dinner?
Sounds like a plan.