Sunday, June 17, 2012

Distraction Number One: My Grandson

Xander spent the night Friday. It is always a joy to have him, but of course the writing goes on the back burner for 24-48 hours. It's a small price to pay. I find that I still write while he's around, but with pen and paper between moments when he needs my focus. At four years old, he needs my focus a lot, or Diane's, or -- often -- both.

He won't be four forever. And the work is always there, waiting. The best part is that I have learned that I won't be able to finish all the work, I just have to tackle one thing at a time and see it through. Unfortunately, my imagination is fertile and I often find myself with a dozen things tumbling through my mind, at least half of which are writing-oriented.

For example, this is not the blog I intended to write today. I had another all mapped out, the notes ready to transcribe and expand upon here. But I started writing that first sentence and my fingers took over, leaving the sheet of scratches and scrawls sitting alongside me untouched. At least tomorrow's blog is pretty much pre-ordained.

The thing of it is, I love to write. It scarcely matters what I write; doing it is the fun part. Short projects are the best because you do them and they're done, or done with just a little editing. Poems require inspiration and playfulness; articles and reviews require a bit of Wikipedia research to get the facts right; short fiction requires what long fiction demands -- a rewrite or two -- but that's easy when you're looking at 1000 words instead of 400 pages. So what gets back burnered is the longer project. But when it gets rolling, all else gets ignored for weeks at a time. My latest book length project is like that -- I worked for six straight weeks on nothing else. Then company came, I shelved the book, and it's been six weeks since I touched it -- and I am reluctant to go back for fear of being sucked in again. But I need to get sucked in.

I promised myself, though, to keep the smaller stuff going as well, and my blogs. We'll see how that goes. It demands an adjustment of the mindset: when I say I have to see one thing through at a time, WRITING becomes the one thing, chapter by chapter, verse by verse.

Patience! Patience for you, who hopefully like to hear from me, and patience for me, who really likes to talk!

And thank Goid for Xander, my excuse not to write at least onmce a week!!

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