It's almost 1:30 in the morning and I should be asleep. Or working on one of my books. Or scrubbing the kitchen floor. You know...something that makes sense. Something productive.
But here I am, sitting down to blog without an actual point to my post. Aside from the need to write, and the knowledge that the thoughts in my head were not meant to be a journal entry, I sat down and positioned my fingers above the keyboard with no idea what they were supposed to be tapping out.
Maybe I should write about the fine art of procrastination. I could probably write a book on the topic. Then again, I'm sure anyone who fancies themselves a writer could, as well. My goal to become a published author lodged itself into my head when I was eight. That's when I decided I would be a teen writing phenom, and of course I had the resulting mid-life crisis at the tender age of 13 when I realized that agents weren't beating down my door with publishers and book deals. So the process at that point became trying to figure out what would make me famous.
I'm in my thirties now, and just now figuring out that I need to focus on what I want to write, and worry about fame later. But it took me long enough to get to this point, and I figure that counts as a good chunk of procrastinating time. And now that I'm a mom, hell, making breakfast and taking Buttercup to story time becomes a necessary form of procrastination. I can't very well spend mama-time on my writing if my child is hungry and not entertained. What kind of mother (read: until I can afford a live-in nanny, that is) would I be if I didn't attend to her needs first and then go back to make sure she didn't need anything else?
Oh, and being Wife to The Husband also has its responsibilities. There's the laundry. And the shopping. And the bill-paying. And the cooking. And the lunch-making. It might sound archaic, but he's the one with the bacon-bringing-home-ability and that nifty little health insurance thing, so it kid of only seems fair to me to do what I can when I'm home with Buttercup. I'll admit that cultural expectations add a lot to it. Just ask any of your ethnic/first-generation friends and I'm sure they'll know what The Husband meant when he used to joke with his buddies that picking me up for dates was part of the fun for him. Instead of pissed off fathers and interrogations, The Husband was treated to my father's snap of the fingers and one of four (since I was getting ready and spared from the process) sisters appearing to offer something to drink, something to snack on, or Get The Hell Up and Let Him Sit Down While He Waits. Oh yes, it's good to be King when your wife's father made sure she was raised to treat you like one. (That was the long way of saying that I need to hire a maid on the sly when I get my first advance so I can concentrate on writing but still look like June Cleaver with a Spanish 'Fro and Flip Flops.)
I'm supposed to be working on two books right now---one is a memoir. The other is a memoir/novel hybrid. I was on a roll with both, burning away at daily goals and surpassing them without a thought. Then life happened. It wasn't voluntary, but I procrastinated again. And here I am still wondering what changed on the page? Why am I having my daily bitch fest at The Writer's Block Cafe instead of bumping heads with my Muse as I try to create as hurriedly as she offers of inspiration?
And why do I keep channeling my writing energy into my blog when I could should be saving some of this for my works in progress?Because a book takes commitment. A book takes hard work. And I might be willing to commit and work harder than hell, but then what? I give it my all and some high and mighty agent tells me that I suck and need to get a day job? A publisher laughs at my writing and cuts my core? Hell...I might as well talk myself out of all that heartbreak now. I can't get laughed at if I protect myself and don't bother. I don't have to deal with rejection if I don't seek acceptance.
But this blog? Jeez...I call the shots. I think what I write is brilliant and I hit "Publish." You read and maybe leave a comment and make me think there's something to me thinking that I'm brilliant. The writer is happy, the Muse feels like she put in a good day, and the ego goes to bed with a contented sigh.
Why do I procrastinate? Because I'm afraid of the unknown. I know I'm a good writer. I know I can become a better writer. I have confidence in myself. It's Everyone Else's Opinion that scares the absolute shit out of me. It's not me talking myself out of my writing projects...it's the Voices I imagine telling me I'm not good enough and that Amazon already has enough good books for sale so how the hell can I compete and...and...and...
I wonder if there's a pill for that.