Sunday, January 15, 2012

Writing is Torture

Looking for a new procrastination activity? Try Portlandia on Netflix! I recently watched the first season of Portlandia instead of doing something else, and it was glorious. So funny! Highly recommended.

As far as those goals I wrote in my last post, I still haven't finished all of them. I did some of them. That counts for something, right? I'm gonna say yes.

I'm blogging right now because I'm taking a break from writing. Yes, I've actually been writing. And it sucks. All of it. Every word. I hate it. I hate writing sometimes. Why do I come back to it? Argh. My goal this year is to finally finish a novel. I've been writing, but I'm having a hard time not judging it immediately. That picture is of me writing. Don't I look serious? That's because I'm a serious writer.

Writing is torture in the same way that dating can be torture. Before I met my boyfriend, I went through an online dating frenzy. It was half great, half torture. It's exciting at first when you're reading profiles and chatting online and you meet up for a first date and he's actually very cute and the conversation is great. It's like with all my writing ideas. I'll get sooo excited about an idea and jot down notes on post-its and daydream about it. Maybe this is the one! But when I try to actually make it work, it becomes frustrating. The spark fizzles out quickly. Or the post-it never calls you back. You get what I'm trying to say. Sweet torture.

One of the things I realized after turning 30 last year was that I've never really finished any major writing project. Okay, maybe I did back in high school and college when I was taking writing classes and there was a deadline. I'm glad I did those projects and got the practice in, but I have yet to write something that I love and would want to send to agents. Most of the problem is I can't just sit still and write. I find plenty of ways to procrastinate. And when I do sit down to write I judge myself before the words even end up on the paper.

I must finish a project. I must. If I write a novel or screenplay and it never sells, it will be okay. I could still die happy knowing I tried and actually completed a story. But if I'm 90 years old on my death bed, and all I have to show for myself is a stack of f---ing post-it notes with ideas scrawled on them, then I will be sad. Because that will mean I never tried. A friend of mine at work feels the same way about his own writing, so we've decided to exchange pages every few weeks as a way to keep us in check. It's been helpful so far. It's also helped me to pick a project and stick with it.

So here I am, apartment all to myself, bottle of red wine cracked open and the Lady Gaga Pandora station playing in the background. Wish me luck.


Chris Constable said...

I'm now going to refer to you as the UnaWriter because of this picture.

Natalie D. said...

I had a similar thought after I took the picture. I was cold and trying to keep the heat down :-)