… if it isn’t Amanda!
(coughs) Hey, website.
How are you? Seems like it’s been ages since you’ve graced my pages. I’d give you the exact number of months, but having to say it may cause me to have a brain aneurysm.
More likely me than you, seeing as I’m the one with an actual brain. (coughs)
True enough. I’d apologize for all the dust, but we both know that’s not my fault.
Anyway, so what’ve you been up to, lo, these many months?
Well, there was the move into the townhouse.
Mm-hmm. And as I recall, that was completed about two months ago.
But then there was the unpacking of boxes. And I’m still not done with that.
But you see your floor, right? You’re “done enough” to go shopping on the weekends and whatnot.
To the farmer’s market! I’m buying local! And I joined a CSA, so I have all this food prep to do to keep the food from going to waste.
Didn’t I also hear that you joined Netflix again?
Um, yeah. But I’m only on the one-out-a-time plan!
Oh, of course. And how about that satellite you were thinking you’d cancel as a result of rejoining Netflix?
Er. Still connected.
I see. And Netflix has greatly improved its streaming service since you were last a member. So I’m told.
I think you’ve already cleared away the dust, dear.
But I do much more stuff than watch movies! I’ve been working to improve my posture and mobility. And I bought a Freestyle Suspension Trainer to help with workouts. I mean, I don’t want to reach 60 and be unable to move due to sitting all the time.
Laudable goals, yes. And regarding that bit about sitting all the time–didn’t you have plans to purchase a treadmill and treadmill desk so you could walk while writing?
I’m waiting for my $8000 tax credit to come in.
All right, Amanda, let’s cut to the chase. How’s the writing coming along?
. . .
It’s not coming along, is it? What about Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course that you signed up for as a means to–what was it? Jumpstart you?
(sighs) I’m still getting the lessons, but I’m about six weeks behind now. I think. It might be more. I discovered my pet idea that’s supposedly been percolating in my head since NaNoWriMo ’04 has no plot. Worse, I can’t give it one. Nothing fits. Everything I think of feels wrong. I don’t want to give up on it, website, but I think I need to shelve it again. And it’s not that I don’t have any other ideas to use for Think Sideways, but I just feel, stymied, you know? I mean, it’s a huge blow to one’s–well, my–writerly ego to realize I have problems with plot. I like Stephen King’s concept of Story and all, but I don’t think his method of write write write and let things flow really works for me. I mean, I can do it–I’ve finished NaNo that way–but then I wind up with a series of events that aren’t Story. And there’s a decided lack of conflict. So I need more structure upfront, I think. But at the same time, I feel like Think Sideways may be too structured for me, even though it’s supposed to be designed to walk the balance between left-brain and right-brain writing. (grabs a tissue and sniffles)
There, there. Let it all out. I’d pat you on the back if I had hands.
Thanks, website. (blows nose) But that’s not the worst of it. (lowers voice to a whisper) I think my muse left me.
Oh, my. That is serious. Please know that if I had arms, I would now give you a hug.
I appreciate it, website, particularly since I’ve been so remiss with you for the past, um, mumblety-something days/weeks/months. Like I said, I have other ideas I could use for Think Sideways, but they’re overall ideas that still need more plotting. And it also sucks that I’ve lost ground with Think Sideways since my original idea isn’t panning out. Now I have to go back and repeat some lessons.
Careful; you’re starting to whine.
But if I can’t whine to you, website, whom can I whine to? Then a while ago Miss Snark’s First Victim had a post called On Writing As Career. I get her point, I truly do. And I believe it. If I want to write for my career, I have to treat it as a career now. But what with the full-time job and the CSA and the cooking and the mobility work and–well, everything, I don’t have much more time to devote to writing. Then the prep work I do doesn’t feel like it’s writing, even though I know ostensibly it’s saving me time in the long run.
(sighs) Look, Amanda, you already know the responses to your excuses and the answers to your unspoken questions. You’ve said yourself that writers write, period. You’ve said that the only way to get past writer’s block is to write through it. If you really feel the prep work from Think Sideways isn’t helping you, or that it’s not “real” writing, then take a break from that and get back to the basics. Journal. Write a scene you do have in mind. Blather on for page after page about character development.
Um, but I don’t want to wind up in the Stephanie Meyer route, with lots and lots of “characterization” but little to no actual plot. Particularly since I already show unfortunate tendencies in that direction.
Says the unpublished writer regarding the multimillion-dollar author. You may not want to write like Stephanie Meyer, but she did manage to get published. Go thou and do likewise.
(thoughtful silence) Hey, website?
You’re not my muse, are you?
Do you want the psychobabble/metaficition bit about me being part of your subconscious that you have consciously employed in order to write this post, or do you want to stick with the simpler “you’re weird”?
Weird’s good for writing. If you mean weird in terms of creativity, I mean.
Weird it is, then.*
Hey! I see that footnote!
Go away and write something.
* Sounds better than nutjob, too, I suppose.