If you've been reading my blog on a somewhat regular basis over the nearly two years I've been keeping it, you may have come across references I've made to the fact that I seem to have been born with a biological need to write. It isn't a choice for me the way it is for some lucky souls out there who can go weeks never having a single thought about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I never struggle from writer's block, per se, as I always have something in my head just dying to be written, often getting out its whip and chain, hurrying me out of restaurant/kitchen/bathroom and into a comfortable environment in which it can express itself. The problem is, those with the whips and chains demand far more attention (obviously. Typically, they're blog posts, though they're often things like Letters To The Editor That Never Get Published) than those that are sitting over in the corner, very quietly whispering, "Oh, don't worry about me. I'll be here when you can get to me. Look at the size of that whip. Oooh, you'd better do what she says."
The problem is, nine times out of ten, the one cowering in the corner (when it isn't a "thank you" note), deferring to Ms. Numchuck Champion, is The Novel. I've mentioned the fact in other posts this year that about two months ago I wrote a prologue for a novel that pleased me immensely. I then wrote the epilogue, which was not half as satisfying (in case you're wondering, Bob agreed with me, so it's not just me). Since then, I've re-written the epilogue (and I think made it even worse) and written half a chapter. Just this week, I decided the whole book had to be about something entirely different (it's a brilliant idea that I've given a hefty allowance in the hopes that it will buy some whips and chains of its own instead of running off to the Caribbean and telling me it's sure I can replace it with something else). What's wonderful is that with this new idea, I can dump that unsatisfying epilogue. However, it means re-writing the whole prologue in a different way.
So, what have I been doing? Well, have you noticed that I've written more blog posts this week than you've seen me write in a single week in, oh, about a year? (In fairness, some of that has to do with the fact that I'm on the road. It isn't easy to work on a novel when one is on the road, because there's really no time). During the couple of months since I started writing The Novel, I've written half of a draft of a new ghost story, the first few sentences of another one (because I have to do that, or I'll forget the brilliance of those sentences that popped into my head while I was driving), and the entire second draft of an old one (anyone else remember that one of my two new year's resolutions was to write new stories and not to revise old ones this year? So much for that. But, you see, I didn't realize The Novel was going to come along, begging me to do anything other than pay attention to it, when I made that resolution). Oh, and believe it or not, I've got three hand-written blog posts that were composed when I was in places where it was much easier to pull out a notebook and pen than a computer (train stations and hotel lounges, for example) that need to be transcribed at some point.
I guess that means my #1 procrastination technique for putting off writing is blogging. Now that is certainly ironic (no matter how you think the word should be defined). Anyone else out there do that?