#am writing

Now that the long holiday weekend has passed, it’s back to work. Putting together a writer’s conference, at this point, with less than two weeks to go, is like a job. There’s lots to do and I’ll be working steadily, for several hours every day, until it’s over.

I’m not complaining. I knew what I was getting myself into, and a conference is something I’ve been pushing for since I joined DWW several years ago. It’s only fitting that I take on the challenge of chairing this event and commit my time accordingly. So, where does that leave my novel-in-progress?

I sat down this morning with my cup of tea and thought about it. The irony of it. My book is almost finished. The conference is almost here. I have two big items on my agenda and all I really want to do it read. I want to bury my head in the sand. I want a day to relax after all the socializing of the holiday. I want to prepare myself mentally for a funeral service tonight, the husband of a friend, who is younger than I am by ten years. He leaves behind not just his grieving widow but two heartbroken teenagers.

When I don’t feel like working on my novel, I usually default to morning pages and ask myself why. What happens most often is, with pen in hand, writing in my notebook, I remember where I was with the manuscript and what is left to do. And then I flip to a fresh notebook page and write by hand. Four pages today. And a blog!

Not bad for someone who feels the way I do today. Sad. Mournful. Anxious. Talked out. Ready for a rest. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in your life. If you’re a writer, that’s what you do. You write. First. Before anything. At least for me. Then I pop onto Twitter and check in with my tweeps at #amwriting. It’s what we do, no matter what.

Don’t Want to Write?

Yesterday I woke up in a really good mood. This morning, not so much. That’s a part of life and ups and downs happen to everyone, but I have a bad habit of brooding upon my bad moods, like I should always be sunny and something’s wrong if I’m not. I overthink it: What has caused this? How can I fix it? When I realize there are no easy solutions, that I’ve tried every diet in the world and my jeans are still tight, I go into How can I find pleasure as soon as I can any way I can?

I made coffee instead of tea, did some morning pages while sipping that first cup of coffee. As usual my journal was a bitchfest. And then I just stopped. I was not into brooding. I decided to let my body lead and leave my thinking mind behind. So I watched an Oprah show I’d taped over the weekend. I never watch television in the morning. Just switching to an unfamiliar schedule turned out to be the way to turn off the me, me, me.

After that hour, without even thinking about it, I came up to my writing room and worked on WIP for an hour. Then I walked on my treadmill and did some yoga and weights.  

When I woke up today the two things I did not want to do were 1.write 2. exercise. I did them anyway. I put away my short term “don’t wanna” went on a little t.v. vacation and  then cruised on the sweetness of how having done those two things would make me feel.

A lot of the time it isn’t that I want to write. It’s that I want to have written. Always, I don’t want to exercise, and always I want to have gotten in some exercise. So that’s the key. Not what I want to do in the moment but what I want to have done by the day’s end.