Or bats in my belfry. Amounts to the same thing, I suppose, minus Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton. I get the urge to write something, and that’s when my cats decide it’s the right time to jump on my writing desk, swat all the papers with their tales…err tails, stand in front of my monitor, high-step over my keyboard and make a general nuisance of themselves.
They know when I want to work, then sabotage everything.
Because life is also about distractions.
Goal-setting is a curious device. Big, bold plans formulate in my mind, Fourth of July-style. As enthusiasm swirls, imagination soars and ideas sprout big hairy legs, the rest of my world’s worries crash into me.
Can I do it?
Who’s going to read it?
Will anyone care?
Am I really that vain?
(Yes, I am.)
The constant barrage of worry and doubt and fear and dismay.
And for what?
An empty page. No inspiration. A lot of wasted energy.
That’s when I draw upon my dad’s wisdom.
“Think about it,” he’d say in his gravelly voice. “Don’t worry about it.”
Ponder the issue, give it form, clarity, purpose, then deal with it.
Of course, I’m a Capricorn, which means I’m stubbornly hard-wired to worry about everything. So it’s easier said than done. But I do try.
I don’t know too many people who can balance all of their worries and dreams and still keep a level head all of the time. No one is perfect. Perfection is weakness leaving the body. It’s an unattainable goal, worth pursuing if only to make you better, hone your skill, give you focus, try your best.
And when your best isn’t good enough?
The worst critic isn’t on Goodreads or Kirkus or any of the dozens of critic sites.
He/she is the one that glares at us in the mirror with a sneer and a snarl.
“You fucked that up real good,” the Critic drawls. “Maybe you should stick to your day job. You know, the one that you pretend to do and get paid for it. Writing is for the Chosen Few, and you ain’t one of them. So why bother? Your writing isn’t worth the e-paper it’s written on. Congratulations, you’ve turned mediocrity into a national past-time.”
And if you listen to the Critic, you’re toast.
Well, today isn’t going to be that day.
I’ve let Novel-That-Will-Never-Get-Published #2 alone long enough. Because that’s what this is really about. Finishing one novel IS an accomplishment.
But it’s not enough. It can’t be. Even if it never gets published the way I want it to be, the characters I’ve written about have more story in them. Their adventures have only just begun. Their hopes and fears and lives must go on.
Besides, *I* have more story in *me*.
The distractions will still be there. They aren’t going anywhere.
Life will take care of itself.
Think about it. Don’t worry [too much] about it.
And start writing.
Like cats on a keyboard.
Or a fiddler on the roof.