About Me

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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not Done Yet Syndrome

The Navajo Indians have a tradition. It's basically planned imperfection. In their handiwork, it their life's work, they purposely place pieces of imperfection. They believe that God is the only one who is perfect.

I think I must have something similar to that going on in my own life. I suffer from what I call "Not Done Yet" syndrome. Basically, my life is full of half-done projects.

I first began to recognize this problem when I re-married. My husband was the neat freak of the two of us and I was happy to let him clean. Then came the fateful day when the honeymoon was over and he asked me why it was so difficult to "just put things away when you're done with them". My retort? I wasn't done yet.

Many years later I still have the same problem. My husband came behind me several weeks ago and put away the fabric I had sitting in our bay window for over a month. It was meant to be the new covers on the back of my dining room chairs. I had redone the seats, but the backs required me to cut new wooden forms. The material sat there.

As he is carrying it back down to my sewing room I’m haughtily protesting: "I'm not done with that yet!" He looked at me and said "Do you realistically think you're going to be done anytime in the next month?" Ok, he was right.

So what is it? Do I over commit myself so that I can justify switching gears with minimal guilt, leaving tons of half finished projects in my wake? Do I just subconsciously fear that what I'm doing will never turn out right any way and I won't have to admit it if I never finish?
I'm asking these questions because I face the same problems with my writing. I have so many things I'd like to write, yet I find myself procrastinating and putting things on the "not done" shelf. Why is that really? Even with this BIAM I'm facing the same type of dilemmas. Last night I was so close to meeting my word count I got a little arrogant and put it aside to meet other obligations before meeting my goal. I was very sure I'd be able to squeeze in a few more words before bed. I refused to post my numbers because I wasn't "done yet". Did I ever get back to it? Nope.

I'm doing it again right now. I just had to get the words to this blog out of my head before I could start working on my WIP. Want to lay any bets on what my word count will be tonight? Um, then again maybe we'd better not discuss it. I swear, I'm not done yet!

I love being a writer. I love to see what comes through the conduit from my brain to my fingers. Still, I sit down to write and there is always something holding me back. I think if I can find the root of my "Not Done Yet" problem, I'll also find the key to free myself to write better and faster. I'll be freeing myself to dream bigger and maybe, just maybe, I'll see the end of some of those dreams.

Monday, September 17, 2007

BIAM week one summary

Well, I'm off to a very slow start. My total for week one was only 2354 words. That's very sad. On the up side I did finish another deadline this week and the ideas that have been dormant for this project are once again swirling actively. I anticipate great things from myself this week.
I think I spent too much time thinking this past week. I went through my "to read" list and knocked off a bunch of the writing titles I had there. Usually doing this gives me a fresh perspective and motivates me to get going on my goal. This time I found myself skimming quite a bit and realizing there was very little new information in the books I'd checked out. Somewhere along the line I'd moved from motivating to procrastinating. Learning about my craft had become a procrastination tool rather than an improvement tool.
There comes a time when you simply need to put the books aside and get your fingers going on your own creation. Especially when it comes to a Book in a Month project. The more you study and think the less time you are actually setting your mind and fingers free to just create. This week I just want to dream and create. Wish me luck and high word counts.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Book In A Month Challenge

This past week I have been gearing up to put some projects back on the front burner. After the whirlwind completing my newest title (see the side bar), I had to take some time to catch up with my scheduled projects and put my house and kids back in order. Now I'm in "get serious" mode again. I have a lot of projects that are burning holes in my heart waiting to get out on the page and needed to glue my bottom to the chair to get them done.
Enter Tristi http://www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com/ with her awesome foresight and answer to my prayers. As you will notice I'm taking Tristi's challenge to complete my current WIP within a month. I know the Lord wants me to do it. I know my friends and family are supporting me and rooting for me. I know family will survive (well, that's what I'm telling them anyway). That's all I need to know.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a writer? I am truly blessed.