Monday, March 17, 2008

Undicsiplined Lout

From a Nonstop I did a couple weeks ago, in the throes of blankness:

Lord, I need your help! I’m totally confused, I don’t know where to go, I’m starting to get antsy and uneasy because time is passing faster than pages are accruing and even though yes, it’s come together before, the last time was so hard and so bad and I hate having to do that to my editor and everyone else. I want to be responsible and reliable, not the temperamental, undisciplined artiste who can’t meet her deadlines.

If I can't, then I gain a reputation as a sluggard and a person with no discipline which could well be the truth. It may be I don’t have discipline. But if I need discipline, what am I to do about it? Why can’t I make myself… hmmm...

Make myself. Lord, do you even want me to make myself set a time and get my butt in here at that time and write nonstops? I could do that. To a point. Until my shoulder starts hurting, which it is starting to now. So I just can’t go on and on and on.

And now I wonder, is all this idleness and distraction part of the process? After all it’s always been like this. For thirty years of writing it's been like this. Of course, maybe I’ve always been undisciplined. Or maybe… the whole creative function won't be controlled. I wish I knew what I was to do.

Don’t compare yourself.
In whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord.

Okay, yeah, I get that. But… how do I do that with this? What does "heartily" look like? Reading a bunch of stuff, making a bunch of notes, then making an outline from the notes, based on which event follows which, and finally sitting down and just writing it out from the notes? That’s the way I learned to write papers for school.

But this isn’t like that. I don’t really know how all the pieces of this book fit together. I don't think I even have all the pieces yet. And I can’t just go read and collect a bunch of facts to put into my book.

Furthermore, if I stop and look back, I see that there are lots of reasons why I am where I am right now. I have had a lot of distractions.

In March last year, when I began writing this book, my hard drive crashed and I had to get a new computer. Simultaneously, my glasses didn’t work for about three weeks and I kept having to drive across town to the eye doctor.

In April I had the blog tour for RotGK, where there were interviews and blog posts to write and comment on. All told, it took about three weeks of my time.

In May… I got the royalty statement and realized that Legends of the Guardian King was not going to be the wild success I’d hoped and dreamed for.

In June I broke my leg.

In July I recovered, sitting about with my leg elevated (which is not easy to do while at the computer).

August 1, I broke my arm and lay around on the couch with my arm elevated for six weeks straight. I read a lot but did no real writing.

In September I went to a Bible conference, got my cast off, and started therapy.

In October I continued therapy and tried to start functioning again – catching up on all the dirt and dust and mildew that had taken over the house during the summer when I was lying on the couch with my arm elevated.

In November the trigger finger problem began, and troubles with my shoulder. I had to learn keyboard techniques to avoid the mouse.

In December it's always crazy, we were out of town for a week and my shoulder really started hurting whenever I tried to use the computer.

In January we had our Arizona Bible Conference and got Quigley, the Tasmanian devil doggie. And my car broke.

In February I was still dealing with Quigley, while the trigger finger worsened.

So yeah, there’ve been a lot of distractions. That tells me this book is important spiritually speaking, but that doesn’t tell me if I’m out of line for not being more disciplined, even if I don’t know what “more disciplined” looks like.