Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Treat it like it matters

Life has been busy lately, and I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted!  We took a spontaneous vacation to the California and Oregon coast, and we had a wonderful time.  I really enjoy road trips and our new giant party van made the drive much more enjoyable.  Of course, once we got home, it took a week or two just to get caught up.  And I've been working on my book.  A lot.  Which brings me to the subject of this post.

My husband is very supportive of my desire to write.  But he's all about efficiency and results, and he has been really pushing me to fnish.  And he's right- I do tend to procrastinate when I feel blocked.  Steve says I'm a perfectionist and eventually I'm just going to have to say the thing is done and send it off.  Again, he's right (although we're not there yet).  But there are SO MANY things I need to do that all too often, I push the writing back.  I end up only working at night, and sometimes I'm so exhausted that I go to bed instead of writing.  And so the time slips away and everything takes longer than I intended and two years later, I'm still working on this "masterpiece."

So last Friday, we were making a list of all the things we wanted to accomplish over the weekend and through Monday evening.  It's spring and our new house has a massive yard, so most of our items were yard-related.  (Till the garden, buy seeds, plant the garden, change the oil in the tiller, mow the lawn, etc.)  Jokingly I said "Hey, put "Finish Steph's book" on that list.  So Steve wrote it down.  And then he said "You better finish it by Monday, because it's on the list!" 

I didn't finish by Monday.  (In my defense, Steve didn't finish either- we were up all night Sunday with a sick four-year old and he went to bed last night instead of finishing up his items.)  But here's what changed.


While Steve worked in the yard Saturday, I sat on the couch and revised my book.  I wanted to be outside.  But I took prime daylight, weekend hours and devoted them to my writing.  This was partly inspired by Nathan Bransford's post about "Butt In Chair."  Once again, Mr. Bransford made me think and totally inspired me.  But it was a complete shift in perspective, and one that I really needed.  If I am serious about being a writer, I need to treat my work like it matters.  I need to make time for it.  I need to push through the moments when I really DO NOT want to write, and write anyway.  I revised three long, help-needing chapters and I made a lot of progress, and I'm continuing to work every day.  I can see how the story is coming together.  And it's good.  That makes me excited and it builds my confidence.

We all have dreams- something we want to do, but we keep putting it off because we have to do laundry or weed the flowerbed or go to a PTA meeting.  But here's my advice.  Treat it like it matters.  Because it does.

1 comment:

  1. You are so cool Steph! I'm still in awe that you're writing a book.



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