Writing is hard.
Sometimes. This time. Right now.
Other times, it is a breeze; it is a joy. It is as natural as breathing.
But not now.
I am not lacking in ideas. I have plenty of those, and they just keep coming. I just simply don’t have the focus. Or the drive.
This doesn’t happen to me very often. But I am currently sitting inside the eye of the motivation-draining perfect storm.
For one, I teach part time, and even though I absolutely love being in the classroom, the other benefit of my classes is that they give a foundational structure to my week. I only work three days a week, but that is enough to provide a trellis to grow my writing around.
School ended a couple of weeks ago. I am struggling without it, despite my complaints that it was cutting into my writing time. My days are wide open, and the distractions are plentiful.
Then in the beginning of May, I finished the latest draft of my screenplay and sent it out to attract investors. So in my mind, that meant putting the script away on the shelf while I waited. Of course, this is always good periodically. Get some distance; develop some objectivity.
Word from the investors is that they are thinking about it. I’m not sure what exactly that means, but I definitely know that that is a lot better than “No thanks!”
So I have some ideas of areas to fix, to tweak, to change, but I am still busy getting some distance.
Also, during these past few weeks, I participated in an intensive transformational writer’s workshop. It was amazing, inspiring, life-changing. Coming off of it, I was completely motivated, especially to begin working on a new project that has been in my head and on 25 pages in a buried file on my computer for ten years.
But rather than dive in on the following Monday, I crashed. I crashed for three days. At first, I was concerned. How could I have been so high only to drop so low? And then I remembered. I had done another transformational workshop, one having nothing to do with writing, with a group of friends. And none of us were prepared for the crash we all experienced after that. So this is familiar territory.
The other problem I am struggling with is finding a place to write. Evidently, I have convinced myself that my brilliance does not manifest when I am at home. Actually, this is not entirely true. I just don’t like sitting alone at home in the silence, at my desk, facing the wall. Besides, I get easily distracted by my dog or the pile of laundry.
I like writing at Starbucks. I am incredibly productive at Starbucks. But it feels tortuous to sit in a Starbucks and not order a mocha frappuccino with whipped cream. And quite honestly, I don’t want to have to spend money every time I want to write.
Then I have the problem of trying to figure out which Starbucks to go to – there are a dozen that I know of within a 15-minute drive. The one on Tampa is full of middle school kids. The one on Hayvenhurst is the one where someone brazenly stole my wallet out of my purse as I went to grab a napkin. I won’t go back there. The one on Louis is ALWAYS packed – it’s hit or miss when it comes to finding a seat. The one on Van Nuys is so small I feel claustrophobic. The one on Shoup is my favorite, but it seems so silly to pass by multiple Starbucks just to get to that one.
Often, I am paralyzed by the choice, and I just head out, figuring I will land where the wind blows me. Do I need to tell you that more than once I have driven around for awhile and then just end up back at home anyway?
I tried out the local public library a few times. That was ok. But I tend to write in long blocks, and I could not bring food or drink in. That was a problem. And the quietness of the library simply magnifies the distraction of those who are snoring, watching music videos with earbuds but at full blast, reading books to groups of children (as cute as they are).
(I think what I am going to do going forward is to put on my calendar at the beginning of the week where I will go to write for each day. Then maybe I won’t waste so much time thinking about where I should go.)
All I know is that this has to end. It is time to get to work. It is time to write, whether I want to or not.
I have two blog posts, including one of my interview with Kelly Raymer, a friend of mine and the producer of the award-winning “Fragile Storm.”
I have improvements that need to be made to Captain and the Greyhounds. No matter what any investor, or anyone else for that matter, says about the movie, these changes will make it better. I need to just do them.
And I have my novel, which currently exists of only 25 pages and a powerful vision and message.
Thanks for indulging me today. I think this is the kick I need to refocus. There is work to be done! And I am committing right now. Tomorrow, I am dusting off my screenplay and heading out to the Starbucks on Shoup.