The Final Essays

I had four essays left to revise. These were the ones I skipped over when I was doing my beginning-to-end revision of the whole book. I skipped them because they were hard and my brain just couldn’t figure out the right way to wrap the words around what I meant. In one case I wasn’t even sure what I meant, which made the word wrapping particularly hard. I finished the big revision push at the end of June, then these essays sat. They sat on my desk printed on paper where I could see them. Out of sight truly is out of mind with as busy as I have been. I needed the occasional stab of guilt when I cleared away whatever was on top of them and found them again. I was feeling the guilt about every third day, but not finding the time to solve the problem.

I have writing projects waiting for me. I’m going to dive into plotting for two books. I have references to read and post it notes ready. I also have a text to read about sentence level construction. Then there are one or two mood books which are in the same genre or have the same feel. I want to read them to feed my writer brain. All of these things are on hold pending the completion of the four essays. If I move on before finishing up, then I’ll lose track of the essay thoughts. I’ll have essays scattered over my work space both physically and in my brain. But if I put them away incomplete, I will never finish them.

Today I sat down for a writer’s hangout on google+. There were four of us writing for 45 minutes and then visiting for 15. Having other people there was more helpful and less distracting than I expected. I stayed in my chair because it felt rude to wander away and not come back. Since I was stuck in my chair anyway, I forced my brain to stop avoiding the essays. I got two done. The two harder ones remain, but I’ve looked them over and am hopeful that my back brain will stew on them and present me with a lovely solution.

For the past week or more, I’ve not spent much time actively being a writer. My focus has been on family and house things with a side order of business tasks. It is interesting to note that rather than feeling like I was suppressing my writing self, I’ve been feeling freed from it. There is a lot of stress associated with seeking publication, and excusing myself from that has been very good. Besides, I have a garden to tend and a dress to sew. The garden will wait, but the dress needs to be complete before August 15 when I leave for WorldCon. Today’s stint with writing also showed me that some of the “freed from” feeling is associated with simple avoidance of effort. I was procrastinating. Having expended the effort and untangled the knots, I feel happy. And my desk guilt has been halved. Tomorrow I’ll do the other half.