The future is here. Now sit down and write.

Oh hai. Somehow it’s 2011. Twenty-eleven sounds like the future, doesn’t it? But guess what? It’s now. The future is now. And “now” is me trying to get some semblance of order back into my writing life. Or, just trying to get a writing life back, period. Because here’s what happened starting on approximately Nov. 16th:

I caught a cold. It seemed like no big deal, and soon after the cold seemed to wane, I was making a fire truck birthday cake for my son’s second birthday. All was well. I missed a week or two of writing having that cold and then the birthday party whirlwind of activity, and then it was Thanksgiving, and my husband’s birthday, too. I was just about to get back on track when Aaron got a cold. And then I got some nasty virus that involved a sore throat and a week of fever and the worst cough I have ever had in my entire life. And then Aaron got the nasty virus with the sore throat and a scary fever and the worst cough he’d ever had in his entire life. And then, you guessed it: Billy got the nasty virus with the sore throat,  worst cough ever, etc. etc. Did I mention the virus lasted for three weeks and left us all pale, exhausted, and with leftover hacking and sniffling? And then, wham, it was Christmastime and we were flying to the East Coast to see family for 10 days and then, wham, we all got some other (thankfully less nasty) virus and then, wham, finally it was time to fly back to California which left us all jet-lagged and confused and wondering what the heck happened to December and why the heck we can’t seem to get well and stay well.

This morning I opened the file I had been working on last, and it was dated November 17, 2010. On the plus side, I remembered very little of what I’d written. On the minus side, I remembered very little of what I’d written or where I was going with the 14 pages contained therein. I reread my words and tried not to get bogged down in the details, like how there were too many commas and they were all in the wrong places, or how the protagonist has too many disturbing events happen to her in one day. Or how the story, depending on how I read it, could be finished, that is, ready to be revised, or how it might not be, because there was this other scene I remembered wanting to include, and for some reason, presumably having to do with battling a fever and the worst cough ever, I hadn’t written that scene. And then it occurred to me that the reason I didn’t know whether the story was finished or not was that I hadn’t decided whether I was writing a stand-alone short story or a novel chapter, or a novel chapter that worked as a short story. Whew.

So I wrote the scene. It was painful to sit there and write it, in the way that it is painful to get back into a writing groove after being away for a while. I hated the scene and the characters and I didn’t want to do it. But I made myself write it anyway, because how will I know what I am writing unless I write it? I can decide whether the story or chapter or whatever it is needs the scene later. For now, it’s important to keep going.

And so, 2011, my plans for you sound so simple: to stay healthy and to sit down and just write it, whatever it may be. I wish the same for all of you (neglected) bloggy friends out there, too. Cheers.

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4 thoughts on “The future is here. Now sit down and write.

  1. That three week, sore throat, worst cough ever swung through our neighborhood, too. Finally feeling normal and lively, and consequently am finally about to slide back into the writing saddle again. Love your description of the process; true dat, as they say (as they sez?); I feel forewarned!

    May your writing be steady and constant for the next year and beyond. Cheerio!

  2. Wow, I think the most appropriate wish to make for you is a better health in 2011, which shouldn’t be so difficult to reach given the 2010 record. I should be printing your post’s title and stick it in front of my face, because frankly I’m finding it very difficult to sit down and write. Best wishes nonetheless, and happy blogging!

  3. Welcome back, Elizabeth! Life does sometimes get in the way of writing, and in your case, wow. It makes my little cold and sinus infection during the same period seem a walk in the park.

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