Have you ever said something like this to yourself? “It’s a lovely day outside, and the fish hawk is checking out the fish in the lake. I can’t miss this,” or, “Gee, I really ought to do the laundry,” or, “I hadn’t noticed how dusty the house is. Maybe I should just do a little dusting before I settle down to write my memoir.”
We’ve all got lots of excuses NOT to write. I know. I am a Grade A procrastinator. You’d think that writing is hell for me, if I’d really rather do the dishes than write. The funny thing is, once I finally get down to it, there’s nothing I enjoy more. So why the excuses?
I think there are two factors that inhibit our creative expression: Inertia, and fear. At least for me, the lack-of-discipline queen, every time that messy circumstance called life interferes with my process, everything comes to a screeching halt, and it’s like Sisyphus rolling his stone uphill for me to get started again.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the interruptions; the birthday parties, the lunches, the dinners, the visits from friends. But still, when I return to my writing cave and close the door, and go back to work on my memoir (or whatever writing project I’m working on), I’m the happiest little clam you could imagine.
Unless I let fear intrude on my private idyll. Fear of failure to communicate the best way I know how: on the printed page. Fear of success, too (what if I get really well-known, What then? Will I like it? Will people peer in my windows while I’m eating breakfast, like they did with the author of “The Egg and I?”) If I let in the dreaded inner critic, then I’m in trouble, and I’m all alone.
Wait. Where did everybody go? Seems they got tired of waiting for me.
Damn! I guess I’ll just have to keep writing my memoir. Or maybe I should do the dishes first.