It’s summer – sort of. My kid’s not out of school yet, but she will be soon. I’m trying to come up with ways to blast her out of her cave (and slum) of a room before she settles in all the way and becomes grouchy as a woken, hibernating bear. She’s too young to work, though a job as a mother’s helper would be great. I suggested a class, almost any kind of class – just so she’d learn something new and interesting. Maybe find a passion. No dice. She wants to take it easy, rely on what she already knows. Of course, she doesn’t believe me that that’s the shortest route to boredom going. But at fifteen and pumping all the hormones that encourage conforming with the crowd, she’s averse to failing, sure that it’ll lead to social suicide. Or that I’m an adult with dated wisdom.
My daughter’s still a kid. She’s got a bit of an excuse. Me, not so much. I spent a lot of the past year writing a history of my church on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary. Consequently, my fiction-writing went to hell. I used the history as an excuse. But it’s time to get back up on the horse, even if it’s easier to write a blog article. Even if I’m scared that I’ll fail, that I’ve lost the imagination that fiction requires.
But a blog is still writing, isn’t it? Sure, if that was my only goal. But it’s not. At this point, what I desire is to write stories that get published, recognized for a certain amount of skill and entertainment value. So, next to the laptop is the notebook where I stop and start and restart various stories. It’s where I can play with the words and try out plot and character ideas. As soon as I post this piece, back I go to the notebook and the pencil I like to use in it. After a year or so off, I will be a fiction writer again no matter how scary it might seem. The trick is to be consistent, to avoid distractions.
Have you been putting something off that you’d like to accomplish? Is it fear or some other excuse?
- artist Georgia O’Keeffe