2 Month Marathon-Summer Procrastination

I’m not sure about all of you, but as soon as the weather turns nice, I am suddenly uninterested in anything that doesn’t involve being in the sun. This is good for my tan, not good for my writing.

Things I did today instead of writing:

-Mowed the lawn

-Filled the potholes in my driveway

-Sunbathed

-Hung out laundry on the clothes line

And then I wrote, for about 30 minutes. Needless to say, I am falling behind on my goal to finish my manuscript in two months. I’ve stretched it until the beginning of August, giving myself a few extra weeks, and still, it will be tight.

I haven’t been sticking to the four-hours-a-day policy that I was so enthusiastic and diligent with the first few weeks. I’m procrastinating. I even procrastinated on writing this post.

Healthy body, healthy mind. I’m hoping that by occupying my time with activities that make me happy, it will somehow positively influence my writing.

Anybody up for the lake?

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Why Do You Write?

In the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, she recommends the exercise of listing the reasons why you write. If ever you are feeling stuck with your writing, it is helpful to simply start with that question and see what answers you come up with.

I did this exercise myself a few months ago in one of my journals and then promptly forgot about it. Coming across it the other day, I thought it was pretty funny and wanted to share it with you all.

Why I Write:

I write because I’m hopeful

And I want to put myself through the wringer.

Because a desk job is just too painful.

So I can feel good about myself and others will too.

So I can feel bad about myself.

Because there has never been anything else.

Because of the feeling of pulling a story out of thin air

And turning it real.

Because of my friends who inspire me into creation.

Because it’s fun to make fun of people.

So I can create my own heroes.

To get through my own demons.

Because I still want my mother fucking yacht. 

I would love to hear other writers’ responses to this prompt! Feel free to create your own list and leave it in the comments.

Happy Writing-for any reason at all. Image

Home Town Inspiration

Atkins ResevoirThe other day I was told, “You are lucky to have grown up in a place that people will always want to come back to.” 

In the spring months since my homecoming, I’ve enjoyed bringing my notebook with me out in the woods and doing free writes. I’ve been turning these into poems, which I am looking forward to sharing. Here is one:

ATKINS RESEVOIR

I’m writing from the spot of so many firsts

Far from cities and nightclubs and bathrooms.

The mountains are dark blue

The sky is grey.

Driving here I passed a sign:

Your community farm.”

Whose community?

Whose farm?

Send me back to the city

Where I belong

Or at least where I can disappear.

I always go to Target when it’s raining

And try to forget about the world outside.

Writing letters to you is my new poetry.

I miss the tortured city days.

I miss the destructive side of myself.

It gave me an edge.

Now the wind blows the pine trees and little else.

I am dying to be swept away but then why on earth are my feet planted on this ground?

This ground that is so much my own.

I can’t share.

I’m selfish as an only child.

This is my turf and no one can possible know it like I do.

In the summer I will walk on the other side of the reservoir.

Maybe I will be alone

Through the woods

Until I reach the rock.

There I will hang my belongings on the knob of a tree

Remove my clothes

Climb the rock

And dive in.

I’ll swim across the expanse on my back

Till I reach the island

Emerging on land like the first dinosaurs

Gasping

Eyes wide open.

I’ll sun myself

Pine needles sticking to my wet skin.

The sun shining red behind eyelids.

But today is just a rainy spring day

And I am eternally waiting.

 

Defining a Work Space

Working and living in the same place can be difficult. When I’m trying to work there seem to be endless distractions. When I’m trying to relax I end up feeling guilty for not writing.
Separation, a friend of mine suggested.What you need is a defined place to write, and then you won’t be feeling such anxiety at home. Sounds good. But it’s not like I have a writing office I can pop into every day. I miss the discipline that comes with an actual work place.
I have always been skeptical about getting into a routine of “going out” to write. It’s a distraction, it takes away from the process of writing, it becomes a drawn out ritual.
But, something had to give. The writing at home thing wasn’t working. So I decided to give it a try. For the next few weeks I decided I would set aside three or four hours every day to “go into town” and write.
There are abundant coffee shops and libraries in this small town. And believe it or not, people are not just socializing but working too. So I decided to try it out. I’m only on day two but so far I’m liking the results. I feel more motivated and productive and when I get home I don’t feel the weight of disappointment.
A dollar seventy five for a cup of coffee isn’t going to break the bank. And if it starts getting the creative juices flowing then it’s worth it. And farther down the road, once I get back into my stride I’ll be happy to shift back to writing at home. But right now it seems like just the change that I needed.
I’d love to hear back from other writers about navigating their own creative work spaces. As always, Happy Writing!