Thursday, April 8, 2010

Making excuses about not writing

I've been having trouble finding time to write on my novel. I worked for several hours last Friday on a new scene between the heroine Ellie and the detective who's trying to solve her case and keep himself from falling in love with her and I felt really energized by the direction it was going. Then I had a busy weekend with a friend from out-of-town, which included giving a workshop on Saturday, and promised myself that I'd get back to the novel on Sunday for a couple of hours after she left.

But I turned my attention to two paid projects instead and the day went by and evening came and I wrote my two blogs and didn't want to be "good" anymore. I wanted to goof off and it was easy to convince myself to do "literary research" by watching a foreign film (it was great: a Danish film called After the Wedding). And the last four days, I've been busy with my life. Paid work has racheted back up after a big lull, more friends are here from out of town; this is the week that my groups meet. One thing after another. And all of those things are easier to do than sit down and write and so I do them and I don't write.

My creativity coach asked us this week to look at the excuses we give for not creating, then dismantle them, and turn that energy into creating "in the middle of things." One thing that writers and other creatives need to do is stop waiting for circumstances to align themselves up perfectly so that unlimited time opens up without other obligations. Creative work for most of us who don't have the luxury of endless free time must fit into the life we have, whether that be creating early in the morning (and sleeping less or going to bed earlier) or in around the edges in the few minutes that open up between obligations.

It's a kind of no-excuses creating that I find so hard to do, especially in this phase of my life when I am wanting to do less, not more. But if I want to find the time to write some part of my schedule or my attitude has got to give.

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