Happy Valentine’s day, folks.
Alas, my week+ in the country is coming to a close, and tomorrow I’ll be back in the city. This is the longest I’ve ever spent up here, I think, and while I haven’t yet met my re-writing goal, I’ve made a lot of progress … and who knows, maybe I can power through the rest before we leave. Stranger things have happened, like the fact that I wrote the thing in the first place.
While I am an okay writer, I happen to be one of the greats where procrastination is concerned. I could teach a master class if I got around to it. Being away from the distractions of home has been very helpful, but I still manage to find endless ways to avoid working on my book.
It’s not laziness. I used to think that it was, but it’s something else, or a combination of many things. In part it’s wondering why the hell I’m bothering with this thing in the first place. It’s second-guessing every word choice and phrase and reminding myself that I’m not supposed to be micro-editing at this point, and this turns into distraction. Into thinking that I’m a better editor than I am a writer and that maybe that’s what I should be doing, which leads to my looking on the interwebs for freelance editing jobs and then remembering the person I’d been in touch with last year about editing and trying to find his email and then looking back online for freelance rates to see if I’m underselling my services (I am—if you want good, cheap editing, give me a call) and then a banner ad reminds me that I need a microplane so I go onto Amazon to buy one and next thing I know, 33 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Psychic—# 17 Will Shock You! and This Baby Goat Wandered Into A Dunkin’ Donuts: What Happened Next Will Melt Your Heart! And then, speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, where is old Jared these days? Has he been sentenced? And then Subway reminds me of college … I wonder what So-and-So is up to? Let me Google him… and now I’m hungry (but not for Subway, never for Subway) but I have to finish this section of this chapter and so I do and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. Then I read back over what I’ve written and it’s actually quite decent and I’m shocked. And somehow a book gets written.
It’s so easy to be distracted. And so counterproductive. And so human. Maybe I have ADD. Look at that cloud! I love my dog.
I had hoped to commune more with nature this week, but the weather prohibited much of that … we had beautiful snowfall, though, so that was nice, and I suppose I communed from inside looking out. This morning a bird flew into the kitchen window; I heard the telltale thunk and looked outside, and the little guy (or gal) was sitting there, stunned, while his/her pals feasted from the nearby feeders. I drank my coffee, figuring that since he (I’m going with “he”) was up he’d be okay, then saw him still sitting there some ten minutes later. I looked up what to do in this situation and prepared, accordingly, a shoebox with a little bird bed and bird blanket. When I went outside to place him (with gloved hand) into his bed, which I was then going to keep somewhere warm for two hours (all per instructions on seemingly reputable birdsites) so that he wouldn’t freeze to death or be eaten by predators, he flew away. He’d played possum for 25 minutes. So there you have it, your moment of avian zen.
I’ve spent most of this past week in ski pants and tank tops or workout clothes, and I went whole days without looking in the mirror which, for me, is quite a feat. When I did leave the house to go on glamorous errands to the Price Chopper or the Big Y, I got so gussied up I looked like the village whore.
Tomorrow I’m back to the unreal real world of Manhattan, and I have busy days ahead. I will definitely do this again, though, as I get closer to the end of this draft. I hope.
Oh yes, Valentine’s Day. Love, that mercurial beast. A friend (by which I mean someone I’ve met once and befriended on Facebook) wrote something to the effect of: Love is important, and can be messy and beautiful. Today I honor the beautiful part of it.
I agree—messy, beautiful, important, in all of its many manifestations.
To the people I love, and I think you know who you are, know that I appreciate your perfect imperfections and your love for me, flaws and all.
Love one another, love your partners and your parents and your friends and whomever you choose to love.
[rant]To those of you who err on the competitive/mean-spirited/gossipy/schadenfreude side of “friendship”, and you certainly know who you are, I say this: stop it. Grow up. The world is in chaos and there’s plenty of negativity. Stop going out of your way to breed more of it. [/rant]
Love is no more important today than it is any other day of the year. The world is a big, scary place, so let’s create a microcosm of coziness, warmth, and support. I’ve got your back if you’ve got mine.
I’ve received my first blog-commission; a friend asked me to elaborate on my comment that “I am not where I thought I’d be at 45. I didn’t have specific ideas of where I’d be, but this certainly wasn’t it.” So I will, but I have to give it some thought. Thank you, CA, for the inspiration!
Love, love, love. Love is all there is. All you need is love. Love the one you’re with.
Love is the drug for me.
And now back to Chapter 8, already in progress.