Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do the work.

In April, I'll be taking an online writing class taught by Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists (side note:  squee!).  In my introductory email to him, I discussed my writing dilemma:  the fickle nature of my Muse coupled with my (perceived?) inability to force out good work when I’m not “inspired.”  And I realized (sadly, AFTER I hit send) that my whole rationale mostly sounds like a lot of excuses.  I haven’t really tried to do the work, have I?  I haven’t tried to develop a consistent writing ritual.  I haven’t sat my butt down in the chair every day in front of a blank page to see what comes out.   I haven’t trusted that something good will come out if I do try.

I think part of the issue may be that I put too much pressure on myself to always land immediately onto (my own standard of) perfection.  I’ve historically written my blog posts in the blog tool.  This is an efficient approach for publishing, but it means I’m either forced to publish the piece or trash it…or to clutter up the entry list with tons of half-finished, unpublished items.  The OCDelightful part of my personality can’t bear the thought of a cluttered post list…so I tend to push myself to finish if I'm going to start.  And if I don’t think I can do that?  I won’t even try. 

(Seeing the words in black and white really emphasizes how pathetic that line of thinking is.  Can I call bullshit on my own logic?)

So tonight, I’m trying something different.  I’m in the chair.  I’ve minimized the web browser and declared Facebook off limits.  The dishwasher is providing a delightful white-noise soundtrack in the background.  The boy is off reading and the dog isn't actively bothering me for anything right now.  I’m staring at a blank word document that frees me of the overly dramatic “publish or perish” mentality I keep forcing myself into.  I’ve abandoned my excuses and my flimsy rationale for “why this won’t work” and I’m just…doing the work.

Deep breath.  Here we go...

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