Dividing manuscript into scenes while enjoying the balcony this weekend. Photo by Shelley Burbank
Good Monday, Dear Reader!
So here we are again on a Monday, the entire week spread out before us like a delectable buffet of goodies…or not.
For most of us right now, our days and weeks are a tad dull, like oatmeal. We take it because we know it’s good for us, we dress it up as best we can with various toppings, but underneath it all we know that we are settling, once again, for oatmeal when maybe we really want a decadent chocolate croissant or a bowl of strawberries and cream or a perfect cheese omelet.
Today, for me, it’s worse than usual. I’m stuck inside.
There was an explosion and fire on a Navy vessel here in San Diego, and today the smoke drifted into my neighborhood, filling the valley with the acrid, noxious smell of burning rubber and who knows what else. I won’t even be able to go out to the balcony.
So, it’s plain ol’ oatmeal stuff again–sitting at my desk and writing.
I love writing. I truly do. What I’m struggling with these days is finding a way to recharge my creativity. Usually that means a new experience, some sparkling conversation, fresh voices and sights. For obvious reasons, this is not possible now. Instead I’m sitting here at my little desk and feeling anxious about beginning the second draft of my romance novel, LOVE & EAST MERCY.
For some reason, I am feeling anxious about starting. Doubt, uncertainty, fear of failure…these are crowding in on me today. What should I do about it? Simple.
Many writers have found various ways to say “You can’t fix a blank page.”
My corollary is, “You can’t fix a full page by staring at it.” At some point, after hemming and hawing and planning and plotting and creating an outline and analyzing character motivations, you have to just start rewriting.
Or digging that new garden space. Or sending out that resume. Or designing you business website. Or creating your first blog post. Or following that first workout video. Or finally deep cleaning the refrigerator. Whatever it is we are avoiding, procrastinating won’t make it any easier. Starting is the only cure.
Because even though it might just be oatmeal again today, we know it–and our work–are good for us.
What have your been wanting to start, but haven’t? What is holding you back? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you start?
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Remembering better times in the 1980s, here is Manic Monday, by the Bangles.