Who was it who said: writing is what one does when one has thoroughly exhausted all possible ways to procrastinate.
A couple of weeks back I had what I thought may be a serious AHA moment. I had put aside the novel I’d been slogging away at for nearly a year for a whole lot of good reasons – I wasn’t sure I had the desire/energy/wherewithal to complete a story that possessed me deeply for a time, then, well, didn’t any longer. I was no longer sure if a good story was even there, or if I cared enough to have those characters continue to possess me.
Putting it aside was the right thing to do.
Meantime, I wanted to keep writing something, and didn’t have a fleshed-out idea for a longer, novel-length work. As you have read in these blog posts, I turned my attention to whatever was in front of me – thoughts about the opaque creature who happened to be my mother, and my reluctant return to the world of health clubs after a blessed 15-year absence.
The AHA was thus this: the gym stuff was fun, and funny. That was precisely the idea, and nothing more. The mommy stuff? Well, it dawned on me that those vignettes might actually be a part of the original novel. Perhaps I hadn’t put it aside after all. Perhaps I had (unknowingly!) meandered down a side road that turned out to be connected to the main artery.
Perhaps. If I can figure out how the heck to do it.
Or even where to start.
It’s currently 5:38 pm. I set aside the entire afternoon, save for a half hour dog walk, to find an inroad for the task at hand. ANY inroad, just a start.
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
- played several games of Scrabble against the computer (my winning average is 51.8%)
- texted pictures of my new haircut to several friends
- browsed the websites of 3 different furniture stores for new living room chairs. The ones I have were bought on Craigslist for the sole purpose of “staging” my house when I thought I was going to sell it. Eight years ago. Still here in the same house. Still have those same chairs.
- thought about every conversation I’ve overheard during the past couple of weeks to see if there was any good material I could just steal outright.
- looked at my vacation pictures a few more times.
- vaccummed, for godssake.
- trimmed my eyebrows.
Oh good! My friend Rita just texted me that she’s on her way to pick me up for dinner!
Tomorrow is, after all, another day.