Paused Progress…or Not

I had planned to come here tonight to talk about how, despite our best intentions, sometimes life intrudes, and it intrudes with a deadline. I was going to talk about how my normal writing had to pause — only temporarily, mind you — because something came up that I had to work on and get perfect by the beginning of February. I was going to talk about how I was sick of my own excuses not to write, and that this was feeling like another one, even if I know this is a real need and has a definite deadline.

But, none of that applies…or does it? I did in fact have to take a small break, and it was definitely for something pressing, but I took care of that. When looking at it, I realized that there are other parts to it, and those are going to come back to bite me right in the butt cheek if I don’t do all of them. Since I finished this one part (plus three others), and there are only eight parts total, and they are best done together, I’m wondering if I should pursue this. I’m doing well with it, it’s a finite project, I’m half done, and it’s going to come up again in about a month and a half, when I imagine I will be in full steam ahead mode with my novel, rather than at the end of the planning stages. Better to do it all in one great sweep rather than making myself stutter and stop whatever I’m doing every month and a half, right?

But what of the thread of the synopsis of my novel and my pursuit of this (so long in coming)? Given my penchant for procrastination — something I would be an Olympic gold medalist in were it a sport — I’m asking myself which should I delay. If I do both at once, I know that each would be delayed or prolonged and my attention would be divided. It’s a conundrum, isn’t it?

However, I know myself and believe I have figured it out. When I have any time alone, my mind immediately spaces out and I think about anything. When I am writing fiction actively, I daydream about what I am about to write, and will sometimes allow the characters in my mind to play out their little joys and dramas and triumphs and turmoil. If the scene is good, it goes in the story. If not, or if it’s not worthy of being in print, it’s not time wasted because I’ve spent time with my characters. I know them better for it. Therefore, if I read over what I have of the synopsis so far, I can use that down time, that before bed time, that idle time to progress the novel in my head. Then when I am sitting down at a desk, I can deal with the very intricate parts of this other project and be done with it within a week while I’m still on fire with it. Then all that idle time spent with my characters will spur me on to writing about them without this awkward break that I have to sort of warm up after.

Essentially, when life intrudes, tackle that shit, be done with it, do a good job, finish it so it doesn’t come back to bite you later, and then get on with your business. I’ll let you guys know how it works. Wish me luck!




~ by Darren Endymion on January 21, 2016.

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