21 work days left. It feels longer if I count the weekends which I do because at the end of every weekend the office looms.
I’ve been using up my paid time off, since they don’t roll over, and just this week I took 3 days off. Did I go on some great trip? Travel to some exotic place for five days? No. I stayed home. When preparing to be unemployed for 2 months one can not exactly go places. I nested. I’m about to bring a book into this world and I need my space to be just right for my creative juices.
I mentioned in an earlier blog I was going through and organizing things, pulling out old notes to paste up here on this blog, and this is still true but wow, I have a lot of crap and I needed to go through and organize how I was going to organize. My friend called my three days off of work my dress rehearsal and that was how I played it- imagining my office job was over and that I had begun my two months of writerly profession. It was hard. I am an undisciplined lady. I knew this going in but even so there were little things that cropped up.
My first day I finally, finally got my space in order and it works. I actually wanted to stay at home in my studio to work instead of going out to a coffee shop. I feel that it is important to create your space and honestly I had been trying to make a space for myself for nearly a year and couldn’t get it right till now. This is exciting because come September 15th, my first day at the new office is my studio and I don’t want to spend my time moving anything around but letters and words.
My other distraction has been all the writings and notes and journals I’ve been lugging around for years. I’ve wanted to sort and organize my thoughts for ages but once I actually got down into it I realized that well, it was boring. Not creative at all.
I’ve just been focusing on my poetry getting all of it in one place and it took me the entire three days. The third day I started having doubts, questioning my skills as a writer. I kept pushing myself but that voice, that damn Gremlin kept saying “Look at that! Look at that crap you just wrote! Ha- the golden beams of the sun broke through the dark clouds! Have you ever read anything more cliche? More boring?” And on and on the bastard kept talking he just wouldn’t shut up. So I had to push myself away from the desk and take a brief walk- talk myself back into my decision.
“This is good.” I kept saying to myself, “this is you taking control of your life. This is a risk worth taking it’s your life.” Then I thought about the Gremlin and how it kept saying my work was shit and I thought about this a moment and remembered what it was that I was doing-I’m not doing the writing right now, I’m not in the creative processes I’m cleaning the clutter and this needs to be done. Of course the writing is crap, it’s supposed to be crap, it’s all the verbiage and garbage and vomit and waste but I need to sift through it so I can find the gems and the sounding boards and the inspirations because they are in there waiting for me to clear the mess away. This made me feel better. I went back to my studio and on the book I created for my poetry I wrote- THE FIRST DRAFT- and of course it’s crap it’s supposed to be! Then, I realized I was nearly done- I only had a couple more papers to pull together and put in the book and by tomorrow I would be done with the poetry organization. It felt really really good. There it is all in one place a great organized mess of puke up words and sentences waiting for me to pull out the gems and now I know right where to go.
My next step is to organize and gather all my short stories. Ten years worth of half written, incomplete stories and ideas. It is a daunting project. I wrote a note to myself- “start with the loose papers.” And this weekend that is exactly what I will be doing.
I’ve never allowed myself to really believe I was a writer and so now that I have given myself the freedom I am fully beginning to understand the work involved. It isn’t always this romantic image of the writer and the whiskey bottle working out amazing first drafts. I knew this already, but this tedious task of painfully sifting through ages of work some of which is actually quite bad and some of which is pretty good but it needs so much work, is just that, tedious. My Gremlin mind starts getting fidgety, moving around and stomping as Gremlins do- complaining about how this is not productive or I’ll never complete anything and how boring and a waste of time it all is. But the feeling I got from knowing I only had a couple of pages left to go on the poetry filled me with a new energy. And, once the 15th roles around I’m going to sit down on Monday morning with my cup of coffee and it will be just me and my little book.
And yes my Gremlin does look like a viking nightmare-It’s my Norwegian blood.