Sunday, March 14, 2010

Does Resisting Hardwork Make Me (gasp) a Slacker?

I had a friend and my sister both tell me they’ve been checking for a new blog. And it’s been more than a month. I tell myself I’ve been too busy with work, writing on the book, writing short stories and sending them out, etc. That’s a crock of doo-doo.

Writing on a consistent basis – book, blog, journal – is hard work. On some level, I’ve been resisting that hard work.

The same friend sent me this quote:
"The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired," wrote music critic Ernest Newman, "but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration."

I’m not comparing myself to a great composer but the reality is the same. Any creative person must be committed to his/her craft, good days, bad days, rainy days, sunny days. I’m admitting to my readership of nine or so people that I’ve not been committed.

I’m still at about the 40,000-word mark on the novel. That’s about halfway. I’ve been stuck at this point like a dieter who’s reached a plateau. Like someone with OCD, I go back over previous work and rewrite, tweak, rearrange.

Slogging through that first rough draft is priority one. Blogging on a more consistent basis, priority two.

I think the principle can be applied to most people and most endeavors. Have you wanted to learn to paint or take a photography class but work, children, life get in the way? Have you wanted to open your own business but the timing hasn’t been right? We’ve all been stuck. What have you done to become unstuck?

1 comment:

  1. The middle is so hard! You're not a slacker, you're just at a tough point in the project.

    When I got bogged down - when the "end" seemed like some mythical nirvana I'd never reach - I just wrote crappy prose. Seriously, it was bad. Rambling sentences, lame paragraphs, chapters with no deep connection to my book's themes.

    And - it worked. I pushed through all that mess, and then the end was in reach, which gave me a burst of energy and allowed me to finish the first draft.

    I celebrated with cupcakes and champagne, took a few days off, then got back to it. The first revision. Which is a different, but better, kind of pain.

    Keep going, Mandy!