More Doing. Less Yearning.

The goal behind quitting my job and moving home being to write, here is the next regular installment on the Blue Sky Writing blog, a weekly meditation on process. I’m somewhat reluctant to do this because no one’s process is the same, no one has the same challenges. All the same, I love reading and hearing about how other people write. Sometimes you stumble on something that is encouraging or that makes you glad you don’t wrestle with another writer’s particular devil, although surely we have a similar devil prancing by the keyboard. We all think we’re uniquely challenged until we discover that we aren’t. Writing is living and living is the damnedest thing. Turns out it happens to everyone.

This morning I was thinking about, or perhaps the better phrase would be berating myself about the same thing I do most every morning. I need to be more focused and motivated. I had gone for a jog before the sun had scaled the hills, early enough to meet a cottontail rabbit on the road. I even made my bed and did my morning pages before most folks had set off for the office. Still, with the “you’ve got to be more focused.”

Twelve books in, a slew of essays and articles and I still argue with myself about how much more I could be getting done. Thing is, this is how I procrastinate. Seriously. Why get any work done when you could lament all the work that isn’t getting done instead?

“If I had just written 500 words a day for the last month, I’d be done with this novel.”

“If I just wrote this, this and that over the next week, I would have THIS much done. I better make a list!”

“No. Not just a list. I need a SCHEDULE! Better write it…”

I can spend hours planning, scolding… yearning. Thing is that the writing is in the doing. Devising new plans for the doing does you no good. I have tried everything, but nothing makes writing easier. And nothing gets it done except doing it, one word, one page, one manuscript at a time. I believe that if you can just face the page, if you can just start, you are already hurtles ahead of everyone who wants to be a writer.

And I still wish I was more focused…