I am easily distracted. I mean that in a happy loving Disney sort of way. Shiny objects distract me, if my blood sugar is low I not only cannot finish a thought, I can hardly use my words, I enjoy “bejeweled quest” WAY too much, I have other excused…
But mostly I am not interested in being in my head right now, and apparently as a writer, that is somewhere you need to venture occasionally. If only just to look at yourself procrastinating.
I had writer’s block once. I had a really good writing practice, 5 or so pages in my notebook every day long hand, an hour walk and then at least 2 hours at the keyboard. Then one day I just couldn’t move. I looked at the pages in my notebook, I went from lines, to no lines, to graph paper. I changed pens and pencils. I moved around in the house. I went to coffee shops. The door had slammed shut, HARD.
Kris was still alive then and he was the king of the pragmatists. I complained and bitched and whined. He arrived on my doorstep with an unwrapped reem of paper and handed it to me and said, “Use 5 pages of this every day. I don’t care if you rip it up or wrap fish in it. 5 pages everyday. And I will call you every night and we will talk about our normal junk, and you will tell me what you did with the paper.”
Daunting, yes. But it worked. I did things to those 5 pieces of paper that I never thought I would. I made pom poms, I colored, I did origami, I cut little signs out and used scotch tape and made signs for the garden rows, I wade up balls of paper and played with the cat with them. And every night we talked about what I had done to those 5 sheets of paper.
And surprisingly a couple of months later I had a first draft of a play.
The reason I am mentioning this play is that I have been away from my writing for a long time. I have been working in another creative garden. And though it has been wonderful, I realize it is not fulfilling my needs. One of my friends took me to Hegdebrook last weekend (look it up on line, it is awesome). There were all these women there, writers who get to stay for 2 weeks and do nothing but write. I was overwhelmed by the garden, by the nature, by the cabins and by the women, who I saw as role models for my next step in life. And then the Education Director, who I want to put in my pocket and carry around all the time she is so amazing, said “playwrites work here.” There was a crack in the armor of my fear and I was struck by lightning. Oh, right, I do that. I like to do that. I am actually not bad at that.
And I stepped back into very comfortable shoes, the shoes that I have had in my closet for a long long time. The Writer shoes.
So when my friend posted a challenge on face book, 7 works of art in 7 days… I decided I could do 7 pages. Never being one to challenge myself to failure, I figured if I can’t do a page a day I should be shot.
So I have e-mailed myself a page a day. Just so it is labeled and out there and has a date stamp on it.
This morning on face book, another friend’s blog popped up, and I had the ah ha moment of “hey, don’t I have one of those? By cracky I do! Well, hell, let’s use that….
So here it is. Technically day 5, but I see this as a new beginning….