Gardening usually bores me but today I found that scooping dead leaves into a bucket was a pleasant escape from writing. This month has been busy and the less I write, the less I want to write. The more disconnected I feel from the story. My in-laws were in town for three weeks so when I wasn’t at work walking dogs, I was going out for monk bowls at the East Asian Diner.
When they were here I still managed to finish a binge of Breaking Bad. I kept making time (10 minutes here, 20 there) for Jesse and Walt because I always wanted to see what happens in their story. It dawned on me that THAT’s how we need to approach our own writing. We need to get addicted to our own story so we want to see it play out more than anything else.
I spent the past few months working on one story but recently wanted to put it aside and start another. I complained to my husband, “I’m worried that I’ll be like you trying to make a video game.” As soon as he gets close to finishing one, he gets bored and starts the next. So five years later, he still hasn’t published a game. “We have bad follow-through,” I said. He just laughed and said he wasn’t worried. Zen is great in theory but being married to someone who never gets worked up is disconcerting. (Maybe he has a point.)
Sometimes I get home at 8pm and tell him I need to write a little bit before bed. He says, “No you don’t. You don’t have to write everyday. Come to bed.” So I let him or yoga or gardening or my recent book from the Jonathan Tropper stack distract me. Or playing with my cats. Or an app on my phone that lets me draw circles outlining the body shapes of my cats as they sleep under the comforter. I need more discipline.