All writers tell you how difficult it is to write and to come up with a unique idea. Some writers will tell you that it’s as easy as trusting that you have something to say. I will tell you that writing is something that I love to do but always find something else to do instead. Procrastination is a luxury for the young. The older a writer becomes the more they realize that time is running out and one novel isn’t enough. Not even the great Harper Lee stopped at the one novel. Granted it took her decades to come up with a sequel. I haven’t read it yet. I love the honorable Atticus Finch, the lone white man who had a sense of justice. When I was young I just thought that he was handsome. The more I think of it the more I realize that he reminds me of my husband. I digress. Procrastination has a way of making one digress.
As a writer I spend an awful lot of time reading what other writers write. I’m not talking about their novels. I’m talking about their thoughts on writing. I sometimes think that there’s an answer there for how to just get to it. I learn that much like this post other writers are just fishing for ideas. It takes a different type of human being to think that others want to read their thoughts. There is a vanity in it but also a great generosity. “Look at me.” The writer says. “I am human. That crap you are feeling is much more common than you realized”. Anyone who has had an “A Ha!” moment when reading a piece of literature knows that this can be valuable.
There is an art to procrastination. I sometimes envy those societies that didn’t have television, radio or movies to distract them. It’s so easy these days to do something else. I’ve found quite often that I can watch meaningless television for hours and feel like I myself have done something. If you ever watch a period piece you see that all they ever did was sit around in drawing rooms and read to each other. There was always the mad genius who wrote to entertain themselves but rarely did they have other things to do. Perhaps they took a walk in the garden or went horseback riding.
There are times when I write that I imagine I have an English accent. They always sound so efficient and real. I abhor novels that are written in slang or street language. That is the language of many people however so why deny it? I never walked in a garden that I didn’t have to buy a ticket to visit. What is the point of all of this walking anyway?
The truth is that writers want to share their thoughts, fantasies or creations because it may be interesting to an audience. The fact that distractions can make one forget that writing is the goal itself gives one pause. Turn off the television. Mute the radio or Pandora. Sit down and write because if you don’t someone else will. I write because I can. I am just crazy enough to think that someone reading this can relate to my thoughts.