Sunday, May 14, 2006

THE LOVE AND HATE WRITING RELATIONSHIP

Writing Can Be A Big Problem!I’ve always enjoyed writing. Like a friend waiting just around the corner ready to encourage and press me into achieving greater things, writing gives me much more than I could ever give back. And this is both a blessing and a curse.

You’ll note the word “waiting” in that first paragraph (above). Waiting is a problem. Procrastination, life, writers block, whatever you want to call it, often gets in my way and I have to sit my ample butt down and concentrate on what I need (want) to accomplish. But this, too, can cause problems. Dishes stack up, laundry doesn’t get done, appointments get missed or put off, all thanks to writing. But that’s okay. At least I’m doing it and not just thinking about doing it.

When I ask other writers if they have this conundrum, they almost always say “Yes.” And this, too, both bugs and comforts me. It comforts me because I feel I’m not alone; others have the same problem. We’re put-off-aholics and could form our own support group (“Hi, I’m Byron and I haven’t written a word in three weeks.”) But the irritation I feel is equally puzzling. Why do we all have this problem?! What is it about life in the 21st century that makes us such procrastinators?! Perhaps it’s the instant gratification age that I continually harp about to my kids. Maybe it’s part of our genetic make-up, a recessed gene that only now has flickered to life Life Can Get Craaaazy!thanks to the buzz of the TV. Perhaps it’s this crazy life we live, going on vacation, attending weddings, checking into hotels for a business trip, checking email, checking answering machines, checking voice mail, making sure we have blueberries in the fridge as well as on our palm pilot, and the list goes on. Is that it? Do we need 25 hours in a day?

Regardless of the cause, a cloud looms large over many writers, myself among them. We have to force ourselves to sit down and do the work. But – and here’s the great part – when we finally do calm down enough to let the words flow, it’s like Nirvana. It’s a drug. We’re in that euphoric state runners often feel when they grasp their second wind. Words flow. The mind relaxes. The work-a-day world vanishes into the background. Ah. There it is. I think I found it. Excuse me while I write something down…

Ah. That Looks Better.

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