Monday, September 29, 2008

Tug-of-War

Sometimes I would really love for my life to be like a movie. I would love to have some heart-wrenching scene with soft piano music (preferably composed by Philip Glass) punctuated by whispered promises and a few tears followed by one of those awesome kick-ass scenes with the motivational songs where you watch all the trials and tribulations of the main character as she struggles towards her goal (always maintaining her gorgeous hairstyle) and finally accomplishes the impossible. I want all the months of worry, stress, and mild psychosis when it comes to my writing to be all wrapped up nicely in a two minute song with a great drum beat. I see no reason why it shouldn't work that way.

Real life is so much harder than that though. Those kind of inspirational moments only last a few minutes and then whats left is the actual grunge work that you have to do. There's no fast-forwarding to the end - where the sunsets and the smiles are waiting. You have to wade through all the mud and the muck to get there and when you do there is absolutely no chance that your hair will be clean and shiny. And that's where I am with my book.

There's the excited stage where I have my nifty little idea and I lavish for a few days in the sheer brilliance that exists in ME form (not). Then there's a workaholic phase where all I do is write for several weeks and typically stop changing out of my pajama's (and when I do change, god forbid, its just back into another pair of pajama's). But when that's all said and done I end up here. Trying not to look at my storyboard because I swear its making all sorts of condescending faces at me and avoiding my computers' desktop with the folder that reads "The Book You Have Not, And May Never, Finish If You Don't Get Off Your Couch And Write Faster, Better, And More Than You Currently Are, You Lazy Procrastinating Girl."

It's not that I don't want to write. I do, truly I do. I love telling stories, I love making people laugh, and I LOVE looking at a finished piece and getting that feeling that lets me know that whatever I put down actually does make sense and might also sound nice too. It's just the in between part. The part that rests its furry little butt down just after I open my word document and before I close said document in a mad rush to find out who in my house is making popcorn and if they'll share. It's that part that scratches just below my ankle, nips at the tips of my fingers, mews incessantly and then bats its little eyelashes when I threaten to make a small sacrifice out of it in the fire pit, as if it did nothing wrong. It comes in the guise of parents and teachers, family and friends, and essentially anyone who has ever told me that money cannot be made from writing, that what I'm doing isn't work, and that I'm condemning my future husband (sorry Crayon) to a lifetime of poverty if I continue on as I am. It also rears its head under the day to day pretense of school classes, part-time jobs, scholarships, dentist bills, 401k plans, car payments, gas prices, rent, and - god help me - Etsy. I swear Etsy will be my undoing. But when I'm gone all my friends will have an ENORMOUS amount of cute (albeit somewhat unnecessary) paraphernalia to inherit.

I suppose what I'm really trying to say here is that lately my life has become this awful tug-of-war between the things that I Adore doing (my writing, blogging, taking pictures, reading) and the things that I feel like I Must do (school, work, life planning, career building, happiness ignoring). I'm trying to strike some sort of balance but unfortunately it doesn't seem like the world runs on the idea that we should make time for the things we love now instead of later.

I have a feeling this is going to be a stressful week.

11 comments:

Begin - writing, yoga, and more said...

Hi Lizabell -

I just found your blog through our shared reading interests and I already know I'm going to love it!!

Anything about writing has me from hello, and I like your Voice.

You can access my blog above if you want to get a feel for my style. I'll be back, reading regularly.

Best,
Marie

Lily said...

"Lazy Procrastinating Girl.." made me laugh. Thanks for the kind comment and the supportive words. Whenever you get down on yourself...remember some of the greatest writers were lazy...perhaps even more so than you. And sometimes we get the best ideas when we're being lazy. ;) (Plus, I seem to make a career out of procrastinating) Hope your week gets better!!

Ms. Salti said...

Sometimes after reading your blog, I wonder if you and I have a strange connection... even though we don't actually know eachother! I loved your post today. I can relate, 100%, to how you're feeling...minus the writing-for-a-living issue, I struggle with all of the other issues on a daily basis. And keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with procrastination, as long as the job gets done!

M B B said...

Just do it! Nike got it right all those years ago! Just write... I'm the same way. I think, "There'll always be time to finish my book." But there it still sits unfinished! So, don't be like me:) Just do it!!

perpetualsmile.net said...

Wow. "Wow" because I feel EXACTLY the same right now.

I'm seriously going to be using my vacation time to write, because it's been so neglected.

Luckily, NaNoWriMo is in a month...

I hope you figure it out, because if you don't it means I never will. Heh.

PS: I love the cat metaphor. I never thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense.

Folding Bike Destinations said...

Wow, I think you paint life a little too well.

Gretchen said...

If the Internet ever dies, the cause will probably be from an overdose of Etsy.
Anyhow, excellent post--it's so hard to juggle every little thing.

Me! said...

Hang in there, finish school, and write from places that aren't home -- like Starbucks or somewhere else neutral. A change of pace might be a great kickstart!

Lea Self said...

Yes, the Wells Fargo things was much of a hell-ish ordeal for me as well. Thank you for the comment and the compliment. Your blog is still much cuter. How do you do it?

Michelle St. John-Brunner said...

Lizabell,

Glad I found your blog! I feel the same way as you do about things (except I'm not a writer!) Good luck with your writing, I'm sure you are wonderful judging from your blog:)

-Michelle

Elizabeth Marie said...

Begin - I'm so glad you like the blog! Thanks for the sweet comment!

Lily - I love this idea. I'm totally going to use it as my procrastinating excuse.

Ms. Salti - It must be something to do with living in Utah lol. I'm convinced our weather sets the mood of the whole state!

M B B - Thanks for the encouragement! I promise I'm getting back on schedule lol.

PerpetualSmile - I know, thank god for months that get us to write more efficiently.

Folding Bike - Thanks! I'm glad you like it! Hope you liked Salt Lake again!

Gretchen - I totally agree. Etsy is such a love/hate thing for me. I bet the internet feels the same way.

Me! - Ooo thats a good idea. I might have to stalk out Borders tomorrow!

Lea Self - Lots of design work and some perfectionism plus a lot of patience and a supportive boyfriend. Thanks for the compliment. Btw - is that your real name? It's gorgeous *is jealous*.

Michelle - You sound wonderful too! I checked out your blog - its so artistic! I wish I was like that!