Just last night, during a conversation about missing homework, I told my son (in a very frustrated tone of voice) to just sit his butt down in a chair and do the work. Just get it done. Quit procrastinating, quit finding excuses, and just work. A few hours later I was sitting in front of my new laptop, playing Mah Johng, and not writing. And I had to cringe when my voice echoed inside my head, reminding me of what I’d told the fifteen year old. Isn’t it easy to give advice? When it comes to writing, it’s also impossible to follow that same advice.
It shouldn’t be that hard right now. I’m not working on anything new. I’m not struggling to create a character or send a plot soaring, or trying to get that dialog just right. Instead I’m reworking a story I wrote years ago, as I’ve mentioned earlier. I’m having fun reading it again. I’m having fun cutting and pasting and swapping things around and even deleting things. I’m meeting much stronger characters, and even some new ones who should have been in the story to begin with but were obviously hiding in the shadows. All in all it’s much less work when compared to the first time around. And yet I’m procrastinating and looking for things to delay the moment when I have to step into that world again. Why?
Well, once it’s done I might have to come up with something new. That’s a terrifying thought. What if there isn’t anything new? I know that’s a common fear of writers, but still, the possibility looms. What if I’m just wasting my time and this rework won’t be any better than the first time around? Or worse, what if I’m just filling time? So many ‘what if’s’.
The other odd thing is that once I finally sit down and start working, I slide right into that alternate universe and leave this one behind and fall in love all over again with writing. I have fun, I get lost in the story, and I’m happy with what I’ve done with it when I finish. Which makes me wonder even more why it’s so hard to start.
It’s all just weird, plain and simple. Guess it’s time to follow my advice.