WNFIN— Progress Commentary


Excerpt from the WNFIN challenge:
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
597 words

Maybe my ambition to write  is nothing more than a diversionary tactic to romanticize my life now which is entirely devoid of romance. Maybe my desire to write is nothing more than a sublimation of my desire to escape the routine of working. Not yet a week into this writing challenge, I am threatened with doubt about my intention as well as ability to write. The goal is fifty-thousand words during the month of November. Granted, I joined late, which means that to reach the goal, I’d have to produce about two thousand words each day, which should not be too demanding for a real writer. I, however, have fallen short of even half that measure, and I can not rationalize by blaming my job or other worldly responsibilities that rob my writing of its due.

The truth is that I spend less time writing than I do surfing the net, playing Spider Solitaire, downloading music, watching Italian films and even  inferior American films. I also do my Arabic lessons on-line, and read dozens of emails and blog comments from various sources. I am currently not doing digital photo editing, but when I get on a roll, I do nothing but digital photo editing which doesn’t even have redeeming value, such as a  family album for the grandkids; it’s fractals and kaleidoscopes and combining unlikely layers into patterns and colors that thrill my eye. No one even sees half those images, except perhaps a few of them that I put on Flickr and are looked at by a minuscule slice of Flickr membership.

All of this activity entertains me, engages me, and inspires me, but at the end of the day, I have not written the stories I think I’d like to write, so what’s going on? Even my Intensive Journal certification course has fallen by the wayside, but that, at least, is an effort I always preferred to develop in retirement.

I love reading memoir, and this year I’ve read at least a dozen, with several dozen more sitting on my bookshelf and in my Kindle, waiting. I fancy myself adding to the tidal wave of memoir that now overruns literary circles, but here I am, right now, at the keyboard, giving myself the chance, and what do I do? I complain about my lack of production. So what can a rational soul think about a person like me, a writer like me?

Well, I do have talent, that is indisputable, evidenced in the fact that I’ve been positively reinforced for it all my life by people who own  credentials. I’ve even been published a few times, once by TIME magazine when I answered one of the their questions to readers about phobias. They wanted a few words– literally– about their reader’s phobias, so I crafted a statement about my phobia of nasal congestion, and several months later, my brother was on an airplane and read my blurb. He was so shocked he said out loud, “Hey, that’s my sister!”

The TIME piece, novelty as it was, is not something that would go into my portfolio, but it does stand next to the handful of magazines, chapbooks and anthologies that include my name. So, I have talent, and that fact makes my lack of production even more suspect.

I am rambling. Yes, I am rambling, and I hate rambling, but I am doing so in order to fill the screen with words in an effort to reach the daily goal. It’s not going to happen, not today, at least. Maybe tomorrow.

6 responses

  1. LOL.. Getting started has always been the hardest part for me. But once I start, words flow. My discipline ebbs and flows. Sometimes I am so on top of things, but right now I am reading blogs instead of writing a paper that is due in two days…. lol ;)

  2. The Kindle is wonderful. I’ve read more books since getting it than I’ve read in the last several years. Three factors make it a winner: it’s small enough to fit in my purse (and therefore comes with me everywhere), it holds hundreds of books, and many of those books are either free or cheap.

    I’ve often thought about whether books will become obsolete. It’s almost inevitable, yet bookstores are bigger and better than ever.

    I love the look and feel of books, while the Kindle always appears the same. It is so easy to read on, however, and I love that I can have several books going at the same time in the same place.

    While books may not become obsolete, I believe they will have to move over as more people become comfortable with the e-reading experience. It’s different from reading on a computer screen.

  3. Unsettled soul, I’m glad you found this post amusing, and I’m glad you are reading my blog instead of writing your paper!

    Will I have to offer you my editorial services to get that paper in on time? I’m good at that sort of thing, LOL!

  4. “While books may not become obsolete, I believe they will have to move over as more people become comfortable with the e-reading experience.”

    I really hope not. I too love the look and feel of books- and their smell- that sounds perverted but I make no apologies for it. I’d be horrified if books became obsolete.

  5. Procrastination. Such a problem. I don’t write because there is housework to do. I don’t do my housework because I need to get to my writing. So I sit here and think about it.

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