Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Do as I SAY… Not as I DO… Part 1

I'm a screw up. I teach writers, yet for the last year I've been ignoring all of those rules that I pound into their heads during every class, presentation or contact with them.

Rule #1 -- Write Every Day

Haven't done it. Guilty as charged. No contest. Lock me up and throw away the key. I'm trying to get back into it, but it is HARD once you've been away from it for a very long time. Even writing these words is agonizing… the critic is sitting here on my shoulder screaming at the screen…

"You call that original?!? 'Lock me up and throw away the key' is SUCH a cliché…"

And then uses other less direct methods of undermining my attempt here:

"Do you really think anyone is out there who is still listening? Who really cares? The number of blogs reportedly doubles every six months and you've been entirely out of the game for over a year… that's 4x the number since your last entry…"

More sinister still:

"Come on… do you really want to admit to your audience that you've had a little lapse? It undermines your credibility as an expert you know… and who wants to buy a book from a WRITER WHO ISN'T WRITING?!?"

Answer: I do. If I can't admit that I face the same challenges that they do each and every day when they sit down at the computer or pick up and pen and notebook, then how can I understand them?

This year has been a tumultuous one to say the least. We've added a 2 year-old little girl from China to the family and had all of the paperwork, visits to various state agencies for fingerprinting, document certification, and letters to the Chinese government, the U.S. government and then there was the preparation for the trip… the gymnastics of financing and making sure that the other kids and pets were cared for while we were in China… Then there was the trip itself, a glorious life-altering perspective for me, my family and my world-view. Now that she's home, she has endless doctor's appointments, tests, and shots to catch up on… all of which takes time. And she's still in a period of adjustment. She doesn't sleep well at all during the night. She has been whisked half a world away, been placed in her 3rd home (1. Orphanage; 2. Foster home 3. With us) in less than 6 months with a bunch of people who don't speak her language… could you imagine how frustrating that would be?

But this hasn't been the only thing that has thrown me off this year... computer problems... computer problems resulting in critical data loss... I'm struggling to rebound from this over a year later. We're talking major creative efforts here... but more about that later.

So as it stands, I’m trying to get going again… I’m teaching classes in November and trying hard to get the practice going again.