Let me present three scenarios

1. Life as a full-time student with friends and fun and stuff

2. NaNoWriMo-life

3. Life as a jobless bum.

Scenario the first

Here I am, chugging away at college. Busy as hell, pretending to be a good student, going out in the evenings occasionally. The time I have for writing is pretty limited to late at night when I should be doing other things (like homework or papers, or dare I say, sleeping) and the half-hour between classes because I live off-campus at the wrong end (the end not near any of my classes), so if it’s less than an hour between them, it’s a waste of my time to go home. In other words, maybe two hours a day if I’m lucky.  Yet, I produce. Not a lot of writing, mind you, but consistently writing just about every day. I squeeze it into the spare moments because I have to if I want to write.

Scenario the second

Pick any NaNoWriMo from 2006 out. Each one I’ve written more words than the year before, but it’s always been a rush. My entire life gets rescheduled. Friends get told that they won’t get to see me more than once a week. I decide if I really *have* to go to all my lectures, and which ones I can miss. I stay up to obscene hours of the night and go with little sleep and fewer showers for thirty days. I’m on an adrenaline high basically the whole time. My hands hurt at first, my brain hurts in the second week, I’m sick of it by the third week, but I finish in a fking triumph. It’s like when I ran cross-country in high school. When my coach was shouting at mile times at the second mile (of a 5k, 3.1 miles), I usually wanted nothing more than to collapse in a heap. But when I crossed the finish line, I always felt like I could run another 5k. That’s how NaNo makes me feel.

Scenario the Third

I play lots of sudoku. I’m actually getting really good at it. I also play lots of Freecell. Not so much solitaire, because it’s my secret suspicion that it’s rigged against me. I spend lots of times browsing sites like Nanowrimo, Absolute Write, and FSTDT.  I do look for jobs, but that’s starting to become even more of a chore than it used to be. I make dinner. I watch lots of television.

Oh yeah. That writing thing. That thing that I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time doing. yeah. Well, I do that sometimes, too. But not as much, and not with as much enthusiasm as I used to.

And that’s the problem. When I was busy, or trying to do something impossible, putting writing into my life/schedule was easy. I looked forward to it and treasured the time I got to sit down and write something. Now that I’ve been unemployed for nearly a whole fking year (a fking YEAR), there are so many other distractions, because it’s so easy to say, well, I’ll do that tomorrow or later or something. Because there’s this Shiny Thing I want to do now. And there are an endless succession of Shiny Things. Maybe it’s because I’m not properly dedicated or something. I’ve started to think that although it is my dream to be a published author, that maybe I’m not in the state of mind or attitude to even consider, were it possible, to be a full-time writer. (and yeah, I know it’s a minuscule percentage of writers who can do that, but still).

Sometimes busyness is good.

Wish I was.



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4 responses to “Inaction

  1. Alaina

    Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I’m one of your devoted & lurky readers… and although I totally empathize with not being as productive when you’re not as busy, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated you blogging more! Whenever I need a little boost to keep writing, I check out your blog – so, thank you!

  2. I’m just about to enter scenario three and am terrified!! But I think if I can have the determination, the drive, and the talent that you definitely have (and I hope I have too), then things will turn out ok. I don’t think you do yourself enough justice, what you did during NaNo was an incredible achievement. And yeah, the job thing is scary and frustrating and disheartening, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for both of us!!

  3. krugka

    After I finished undergrad it took me about a year to find a real job. Before then I ended up working at starbucks, which was definitely not as much fun as I thought it was going to be. I figured that a place with massive amounts of coffee was bound to attract happy people…

    Anyway, I ended up finding work through a friend of a friend sort of, but I really hated it (government contracting). It seemed like such a waste of time. So, now I’m in grad school. I could have sworn there was a moral to this story, but now I can’t find it.

    Really though, I think that if it’s your dream to be a published writer then you can do it. I mean, you’re obviously smart… and you did win a contest, so you must be pretty talented too. So, don’t give up hope. You can do it. Whenever you feel like you can’t, just remember that all of your lurky readers are behind you and we believe in you!

  4. anne

    I know exactly how you feel. Except I’ll see you one and raise you one: I have problems finding the motivation to write even when I /am/ busy. I’m hoping that it’s just a slump, but they tend to be coming more and more frequently as of late. -sighs-

    Of course, I’m not reading either, which is part of the problem. And I’m not reading because I’m too busy doing homework… except I’m not, because I put things off. And play computer games instead of write or do homework. -smacks self on the head-

    Here’s to college being the kick in the pants I need to get back into things. -raises glass- For I too want to be a professional writer. Only problem, of course, is that to write books for a living you need to, well, write books. And I haven’t been too terribly good about that recently, as I mentioned.

    Good luck with your dreams. Here’s to both of us achieving them. -raises glass again-


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