Monday, January 20, 2014

My Brain Is a Brat Sometimes

The bad news: I haven't started grading the last two folders of essays that MUST be graded and recorded by tomorrow morning, assuming we don't have a snow day. I could do what I used to do when I was younger and tell myself that we will definitely not have school tomorrow so I can worry about it then. But that would curse it and the snow would go around, so after this, I promise that I'll get to work. After lunch. And maybe a nap. Oh, and a walk.

The good news: I got what I think is a really strong chapter written. I'm quite excited with how the next installment in the adventures of Harry and Deanna Shalan is coming together. I wasn't certain how well it would turn out because it's basically two stories being told alternately, with one in the past and one in the present, with the two storylines coming together at the end. If I don't do it right, it could turn out to be a bridge built from both sides of a river at the same time, only when the two sides meet, one's six inches higher than the other. Close is not helpful. But I think they're going to meet nicely. I really believe that, as much as I am convinced that my first book was good, this one's going to be much better.

The problem is that it seems like I do my best writing when I should be doing something else. When I have time and nothing else pressing, I can find a million other things to fritter away time. When I need to grade, I want to write. When I feel like I need to write I want to check my Facebook a million times, cook everything in the house, go for a walk, straighten my closet--anything but write.

The weird part is that I somehow get it all done. By doing the thing I say I'm not going to do, I end up getting all the stuff on my to-do list finished. I grade papers during the time I set aside for writing. I write during my house-cleaning or cooking time. I cook and clean during my grading time. But if I just say I need to do all of these things sometime over the weekend, I end up not getting any of them done. I have to say to myself, "Grade papers now," and I will instantly find inspiration to do literally any of the other jobs on my list. Same if I decide I'm going to write.

So I guess the key is to give into my inner disobedient brat. Just tell him to do something--anything--and he'll do something. Just not the thing I told him to do. When I tell him to decide what I want to do, he won't. But if I decide for him, he's quick to change my mind.

I'm not sure what it means that I'm learning to outwit myself, but it's probably not good.

1 comment:

  1. Brief addendum--I did have lunch and go for a walk with full intentions of jumping into the essays as soon as I got home. But during the walk, the entire next chapter just laid itself out in front of me. In fact, the rough outline of the whole rest of the book came into focus. Now all I want to do is write! Why can't I do this for a living? Please?