I am merely showing up at the page tonight. I have no subject matter.

I am happy for Anne Lamott, who takes the mystery out of writing, who makes me realize that I am normal. I may be a freak, but I am normal as a writer. Every writer goes through this.

I’d love to grasp onto some beautiful idea and expound poetically, but I’m really tired. Maybe fatigue is good… it makes my inner censor go away because she’s too lazy and sleep-deprived to care.

But I’ve just sat here for the past two minutes in a daze, biting my nails, wasting precious writing time. Maybe I’ll spend the next hour writing about nothing. Or maybe at the very end of my work session (see how I called it “work,” as if I’m some fancy writer who actually does this for a living?) I’ll stumble onto something brilliant and go to bed terribly satisfied and feeling prolific and profound.

Probably not.

It would help if I had a proper desk. I’ve been dreaming about getting my writing office all set up for two weeks now, but somehow it never works out. The desk is at least in the room now. That’s a start.

Then I have to carefully place my most treasured books all around me on the shelves, which makes me feel profound and prolific and well read. Because, after all, profound and prolific writers are well read.

Then I really must get the laundry out of here. Right now it’s a good stopping place, being the room adjacent to the laundry room. Usually I dump it with the intention of folding it, and then the shiny bluish glow of my computer distracts me. My laundry pile is quite substantial today.

Someday I’ll have an organized office. Someday all my laundry will be done. Someday I’ll have all my books out of boxes, sitting prettily on my bookcases. And then I will write. I will be a brilliant and prolific writer and will write the great American novel, and everyone will love me. Someday.

I realized today that I am a visionary… a big-picture person. Not detail-oriented. I get all these big, fine ideas, and then get really excited, and then get bored trying to hammer out the details and give up. This was a revelation to me, blessedly dropped on my head as I was taking trash out to the dumpster at the bookstore. It’s my management style there: figure out what the place should look like, and then delegate everyone else to do it. That works well in a team setting, such as at the bookstore.

When you are a writer and don’t have eight brains to which you can delegate the piddly details of hammering out a book, it makes for a rough time. No wonder I never finish a project! I get sick of hoeing the same row for days at a time, trying to break up the fallow ground so that I can eventually get the dang thing to grow something (hopefully something good), and so I quit and move on to the next project or idea. That’s why I don’t write fiction. I’m trying to quit that mentality; trying even now as I sit here and write about not writing. Maybe someday I’ll recover enough that I will actually sit down and write something with a plot that tracks all the way through a book. Just a thought.

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep at it, sitting on the floor of my office with my keyboard in my lap, piles of clothing around me, thinking about what my books would look like along the walls, and hope that something good happens eventually. I think it’s worth it. At the very least, in the end, I’ll have a killer journal.


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