Monday, May 3, 2010

Getting snowed under...

Seriously, I have NO CLUE how all these annoyingly organized people stay so put together. Their productivity instills such a sense of envy in me. How do they manage to stay on track?

I'm pretty sure I don't have AADD or anything of that sort, but I am so easily distracted it's unreal.

I sit down to write, then decide to take a quick look at Facebook, and suddenly it's 500 minutes later and I've played 75 games of Bejeweled Blitz, grabbed about 10 cups of coffee, laughed my butt off at CakeWrecks and then... oh, look! Shiney.

Before I understand what's happening, it's mid-afternoon and I'm bolting for work without having gotten more than 50 words done for the day.

Maybe that's why long-handing in my notebook works so well. Absolutely nothing but my pen, the paper and frantic scribbling to get all of those skittering thoughts caught into something tangible that will eventually, hopefully, become a story.

I also have a big issue of not finishing what I've started because of said state-of-constant-distraction. Yet, that's not to say I don't have productive hours and days and weeks.

Still, sometimes I'm clipping right along, all accomplishing and proud, so I decide to take on just one more thing. Just that one small shift, and my precarious pile of projects teeters.

It's like that tiny glob of snow that gets knocked loose at the top of the mountain. Something starts rolling away, totally out of control, and then other crap gets stuck to it: things I can't finish until something else is done, a promise I forgot about, anxiety and embarrassment that I'm being so flaky...

It's an avalanche of tasks that collects and fuses around me until I'm utterly suffocated and immobilized, and my head is spinning from the wild tumble. Everything's such a mess I can't decide what to work on, so I do absolutely nothing. Sometimes that nothing turns into days at a time.

And because I'm feeling so guilty about all the other things I need to do, I can't write anything on my stories.

So then I make a list.

Lists are my friends.

I love using lists to get the rock-tumbler in my head organized. When I find myself writing the same item on my To-Do over and over, I know it's time to kick up my heel, connect with mine a$$ and just DO IT.

And really, all I need is just ONE thing to get done. It inevitably leads to a clean sweep of the list.

Afterward, the sense of relief is like taking a deep breath right after you've brushed your teeth. Clean and tingly and invigorating. It's as though a magical crevice has opened up, and all the clingy snow has melted away, leaving me free to start something new. Or many, many somethings new.

And, the best thing of all happens - the voices of my characters break through and words just start flowing again.

Sadly, this past week has felt more like the avalanche than the melt. Maybe there's hope for tomorrow?

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