August was a very busy month travel-wise and not much work was done. I knew that going in I wasn’t going to get a lot of writing in since Liz and I had 3 weddings to attend, one of which I was officiating (I technically did write for that one though). With travel I didn’t make it a priority to set aside time to work since I wanted to be out with Liz exploring, seeing friends, and eating as much food as we possibly could.
Having come back from France yesterday and sitting down at the computer today, it’s now 5:00pm and I haven’t written a single thing. I’m finally writing a blog post about how I haven’t written a single thing, but that doesn’t feel like much of a victory. I managed to produce another short story before we left for France, and have the first line of another one (all of these stories start out by a single line that I think sounds interesting).
What I’ve realized is that writing is an activity I find myself often relegating to the future-tense. I will write, I will work, I will produce. This is the insidious lie that rewards the present and makes tragic the past.
I read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and it was a pretty good kick in the pants. I think of the whole book his detailing of the differences between an amateur and a professional were most striking to me. It was amazing how CLEARLY I have been behaving like an amateur versus a professional, particularly not dedicating time to my work and not focusing on perfecting my craft.
What I have been enjoying the most about writing, has actually been what happens when I’m not at my computer. It’s been when I’m out walking or out doing something and an interesting phrase or concept just randomly pops into my head. I’ll chew on it for a little, say it out load to hear how it sounds, and just really enjoy the grouping of words that just came about to form an interesting sentence. The harder part for me becomes going home, sitting down, and then turning that little something into a bigger something. Either forming a story around it, or a paragraph, or a character. I find that I get these really interesting seeds (at least interesting to me), but don’t always plant and water them as I should.
So that is where I am now… still working on that whole “discipline” thing.