May 15, 2007

Procrastinator Terminus

I've got Beck's Whiskeyclone, Hotel City 1997 (from the album Mellow Gold) playing and it is a lazy song. The music bleeds out slow, an inebriated slick of sound, sunken into the ground with apathy. There's no inspiration in it, but it is good music, the kind that slows you down to a staggering crawl.

The feel of this song, not the words per say, seems to embody my head space for writing these past few weeks. I have two stories in their final stages: peer edits in, red marks scrawled all over the manuscripts, all notes ready for serious concession. And I have not done a damn thing with them.

At first, I chalked it up to having to complete an editing assignment for a course I'm taking. But when that was done, nothing changed. So I considered blaming
Facebook and its infernal addictiveness. But that would also mean blaming my wife, Sandra, who started me up on the whole thing. To be honest I value my appendages... all of them. No the responsibility must lie with my own pathetic shortcomings. All the criticism I've levied against writers who look for ways to distract themselves from completing those last steps now comes full circle. And I have it a lot easier than most people.

The funny thing is, I often find the editing process more enjoyable than the actual penning of the first draft. Getting the initial story out can be agony. All the images jumbled in my head, giving me only a murky idea of what I'm trying to convey. Once the story is out on the page and I can start picking it apart, moving paragraphs, changing word choices, finding out what my peer editors have to say --that's when I feel like something of value can be accomplished.
So, I think I'm pulling back from those last few steps because I know that once they're done I've got to go back to square one. I have to start from scratch again, from one concrete image, from the idea of context. It's a trivial thing, really. I should be looking forward to the next editing process, the same way one anticipates a good meal without being too mindful about the preparation involved beforehand.

In other words, I'm being lazy. There, I said it. Of course, now that I've said it, I'll be racing upstairs to hammer away at my stories like a good boy. But I must do it quick, before my garden out front calls me into the sun, before someone posts on my Facebook account, before the hockey game starts, before... crap, too late.

2 comments:

Sandra said...

Ah, yes. Distractions come in so many forms. But don't beat yourself up - I'm sitting in the office trying to accomplish my daily tasks and here I go reading blogs and looking at photos that a certain someone keeps uploading to facebook. That facebook is evil. E-vil!...must log out...

Lucynda said...

Harry,

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! I think the entire Internet is addictive, but that aside, it has made the whole submission, editing, proofing process a lot faster. And, like you, I thrive on the comments of my critique partners, and the things my editor says or questions. The editing process is hugely enjoyable for me!