Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Might Just Be Mental

Sometimes I feel like my laptop is a sentient being.

When I'm reading a particularly good book or have an idea that keeps turning itself over in my head, this little MacBook Air of mine seems to loom bigger and bigger in my mind as if it's calling out to me.

"Write!" it pesters incessantly. "Why aren't you writing? Aren't you the one who calls yourself an aspiring author?"

Of course I want to write. The problem is multifaceted and cumulates in a lack of focus and far too many ideas ricocheting off the boundaries of my mind. Nothing's cohesive. I know where I want to go with some stories and the premise of others, but it's like the moment I've got that going for me, by brain freezes up and my fingers seize.

My laptop scoffs. "Maybe you should just give up," it jeers. "Everyone else is better at this than you. They've all at least finished a rough draft of their manuscripts. You just keep getting stuck after the first ten chapters then ditching it and it's cluttering up my files."

I sneer and go back to reading or watching YouTube, doing my best to ignore its nagging. I have to figure out how I want the opening to work. I have to hash out the story first. I can't write down some half-baked idea and call it a manuscript.

"That's what editing's for, dimwit. It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around."

But I want it to be perfect the first time around! I want it to be the potential I see it having. And I have other things to do. This isn't my entire life after all.

"Isn't it what you want your entire life to be? Writing? Publishing books?"

Shut up! I'm doing the best I can. I'm reading like a maniac over here, trying to learn as much as I can through what others have done. As John Green would say, it's the best apprenticeship I've got.

"You just ended that sentence with 'I've got'."

I groan. That's besides the point. The point is that I'm learning right now. You can't expect me to do everything at once.

"Practice makes perfect. You can set a little time aside at the very least. What was that quote you used to be so fond of? Oh yeah, 'The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.' -John Irving. Or 'Learn as much by writing as by reading.' -Lord Acton. Or even that one from Ray Bradbury, that author you look up to so much, 'Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.' I win."

Not fair! You can't just bombard me with quotes I like and win the argument just like that. Okay, maybe you've got a point. *sigh* Fine, I'll get to writing already. I'm not saying I'm gonna type up a novel in the next week, but I promise I'll stop procrastinating somewhat and at least write for an hour or two every day. Scout's honor.

"You weren't a girl scout. They didn't let you in the troop because the lead mom hated you, remember?"

Enough with the low blows already. You already won.

Just let me finish one more chapter of Suite Scarlett first. Things are getting intense right now . . .

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