Monday, September 30, 2013

On Second Thought...

I was all excited that today is the last day of September...but then I remembered that I said I would post an extra day because I didn't start until September 2nd.  So...there are two more days in my month.

This writing every day business is hard.  I have some things I want to do differently next time I do it (because I WILL do it again) that might make it easier for me.  I've got a couple ideas already.  We'll see how they pan out.  It'll be a surprise for all of us.

I LIKE this practice of writing every day.  I like the challenge, and I like making sure that I always have that forum open to sit and write.  It is, of course, always there, but so often I don't take advantage of it.  I compose something in my mind, but let it go as soon as it floats in, figuring I don't have time or it won't be worth writing down anyway, I have too many other (important) things to do.  The act of writing always falls to the outskirts of my being, although the heart and soul of writing never leave my core.  There's a mismatch there that's difficult to reconcile.

So I make myself write every day, and then I'm just exhausted.  The truth of the matter is, I still put it off until the last possible second.  I still let those bursts of genius float away, and I practically wave goodbye to them while I write something inane or unimportant instead.  I don't have a good way of grabbing those moments and saving them.  Sometimes I do, don't get me wrong...but most times I don't.  So then I wait around for inspiration, who doesn't come knocking until the last possible second when I'm nearly too tired to answer the door.  I do -- wearily -- and because I don't welcome her with open arms, she gives me a half-baked idea with some half-hearted metaphors that are just enough to fulfill the nightly quota.

It's not easy, this writing business.

Some nights -- like now -- the writing flows more easily.  Can you hear the difference?  I can.  I don't have to think the words in my head before they come out of my fingers.  It all just seems to flow together as my fingers and brain play music with the words in my heart, and it all comes out as a symphony, or smooth jazz.  Other nights, the words get stuck somewhere, and there is no music playing between heart and brain and hands, or it's all jumbled and disjointed and I get caught up in asking "but what are you saying?  What are you saying?  What are you saying?  What is it you are trying to say?"

More often than not, I don't know.  It's not my head that's doing the talking, and honestly, the more that over-controlling pain-in-the-butt stays out of the way, the better.  When I don't know what I'm trying to say, but I let the words come anyway, THAT is when I feel like a writer.  That's when I feel that moment of connection that's so freaking addictive I keep doing stupid things like staying up every night to write.

There is part of me that really wants to try to go for two months in a row.  I mean...if I did one month, I can do two, right?  I'm trying to talk myself out of it.  If I stop after tomorrow, I'll go back to not writing, or writing only once in a while.  If I keep going, however, maybe I'll fall into more of a rhythm.  That's what I want, after all.  I don't care if I write every day.  I just want to be writing regularly.  I want that to be as natural and important and necessary for me as doing dishes, or laundry, or taking the dog out for a walk.  Part of me wonders if I go for another month -- but change up the pattern --if maybe something will stick.

I understand why so many writers are known as kind of tortured souls.  Writing will do that to you.  It makes you crazy -- crazy when you do write, and crazy when you don't.  Basically, you're screwed regardless.

One of "my kids" the other day was very upset with me because she did not like the recommendations I made for a problem at home.  She cried through the majority of the session and argued with me as to why my "idea" was such a bad one, and cried harder when I told her this plan was non-negotiable, and suggested we talk about some ideas regarding how to cope effectively with the new plan instead.  She finally realized I wasn't going to budge, hung her head down in the saddest manner possible, looked at me with big, sad puppy dog eyes and a quivering lip and said, as calmly as she could, "Dr. Auto...I really think your idea needs an on second thought."

I paused, trying to figure out what she was trying to say.  "You say it," she prompted me.  "Say, 'on second thought...'"

I stifled a laugh, and told how I know she is so disappointed, but I was not going to change my mind.

This is one of my new favorite phrases.  Do something stupid or rash?  Think: "Oh man, that really could have used an on second thought."  Want to warn somebody to be careful?  Say: "maybe you should have an on second thought about that one..."

In thinking about writing daily for a second month...I'm seriously thinking I need an on second thought.  However, I'm pretty stubborn.  I can make even my on second thoughts agree with me when I put my mind to it.

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