It’s the most daunting seat in the house–not surprisingly, since none of the other chairs here are particularly bothersome. It’s not the way it looks, or even the way it feels that makes it difficult. It’s where it sits. Its choice of company.; It’s the chair pulled up in front of my computer screen and keyboard, and dragging myself into it every day is a struggle.
At one point in my career, I had this demon licked. I worked hard to conquer the procrastination that had plagued me during my “writing as a hobby” phase. and I won. I was up at at it by five every morning, as regular as clockwork. For a while, I wrote every sing day of the year, including holidays, and I was darned proud of myself for being so disciplined.
A few years in, however, I discovered that never giving myself even a day off was leading to burnout, and I decided to mend my ways. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to that schedule, even if I overcome the lazies I’m currently fighting.
It’s not really laziness, though. It’s fear. Yes, I’ve published 30-some-odd books, and yes I’ve had a moderate degree of success, and yes, I’ve had great comments from my agent and editor(s) over the years, But somewhere along the way, I hit a wall, and I’m still shaking off the dust from that experience.
All those old fears have come back to haunt me. What if I don’t have “it” any longer? What if the world has passed me by? What if I’m too rusty, too far out of the center of things to ever get myself back in the groove?
Writing is hard work. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done, and I’ve had a number of different, stressful jobs over the years. It’s sometimes fun, but sometimes painful, and it’s the painful part that makes me quiver in my tracks when I look at this seemingly innocent chair sitting in from of the table. What if I can’t stand up to the pain anymore? What if it’s all just too, too much for me?
And that’s only part of it. What about ideas? What if they don’t come like they used to? What if my muse has given up and walked off the job?
Half of me wants to jump into my office chair and show it what for. I want to jump into the gray and show it (and myself) that I can prevail again. But the other half wants to hold back, wants to ponder, reconsider, play the “what if” game a while longer.
Just getting myself into this chair every day is a struggle. I hope the struggle will get easier as the days to by, but for now it takes almost super-human strength to make it this far.
But here I am, plunked down in it, dead-center, and typing away. Not on a book, but on this blog post. That has to count for something, doesn’t it?
This week’s goal: Plant myself in this chair every workday (Monday-Friday) and do something productive. Anybody else setting goals this week? I’d love if it you’d share.