Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Confessions of a Slacker

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been over eight (count 'em - EIGHT) weeks since I've last written...

But I'm not going down on my knees for forgiveness. I've got my reasons for being absent from the scriptorium, and even if that's a loser's excuse, so be it. I'm only human. Life happens. Guilt is for the insanely uptight perfectionists of the world. Let them take up room in that small, dimly lit confessional. I'm standing right out in broad daylight to say that I haven't written one stinking word in my Epic In Progress and I'm feelin' alright.

Life happens. We can't always carve out space for commitment to the pen and paper. Except for authors whose daily bread depends on their craft, the rest of us need to view it as a lesson in priorities. Or, maybe it's just the Universe telling us, "Hey, take a break and suck up some life, will ya?" because for this writer, life is story fodder. Where else to get cool ideas if not out there where life happens? It's sort of like dating; you're not going to meet Mr./Ms. Right by staring at the four walls of your house. You have to go where the action is. Interact with life's breath.

Yet, I'm a bit bothered, personally, that when this slacker cycle of mine ceases, I'll stare at my Epic and say, "Who in the hell are you?" Better yet, I'll probably say, "Who wrote this shit?" And there rests the slacker-dom rub. While life pulled me away from the pages in five thousand other directions, ugly-assed inner critic (U-AIC) did not take a break. This is where fear rears its ugly head as I pick up where last keystroke landed, the breaking moment that could push me back into slacker-dom.

Will it be like riding a bike after falling off, a wheel or two missing? That could make getting back on track extremely difficult. How do I kill ugly-assed critic before taking up pen again? That is my question. I'm giving this serious consideration because next week I plan to embark on a writing blitz (between unpacking boxes and returning to school). What sort of discipline will stop U-AIC from whispering those famous words, "Hey, you suck?"

Answer: The way I'll view my Epic. Not with eyes meant to discredit every word written, but with the eyes of an encouraging editor, one who would say, "It's a little wonky here, but damn, this part here is brilliant!" I feel I have a choice on procedure. Either I embrace the beauty with unconditional love, or I set out on the path of self defeat. It's all about knowing who I really am and not give in to U-AIC's belittling needles of contempt. It's a matter of realizing that the Epic is only going to get better because I'm ready to hit the pavement running. That's my choice.

Am I alone in my chosen slacker-dom? Those willing to admit the same, please share your experience in returning to the pages and how you dealt with the evil U-AIC.

12 comments:

Stephen Parrish said...

What sort of discipline will stop U-AIC from whispering those famous words, "Hey, you suck?"

Shh. I just emailed my corrected manuscript to my editor. U-AIC is still whispering.

Edie Ramer said...

Maybe you'll look at your epic and think "Wow! I wrote that? I'm damn good." Or even, "Not too shabby." :)

Kath Calarco said...

Good luck with the ms, Stevie!

Kath Calarco said...

Edie, I like those! Take THAT Ugly-assed inner critic.

Robin said...

You are way too savvy to let that damn U-AIC take up residence for long! And once you get back into the swing of things, it *is* just like riding a bike and you *will* see brilliance. The hardest part is starting. At least for me it is. (Yes, I've been a slacker too, so absolutely don't think you're alone!) But after wrapping your head around that epic again, it's gonna shine!

Sending lots of happy writing thoughts your way! Hugs too!

Kath Calarco said...

Robin, I'm happy to be in fantabulous company! Thanks for the kind thoughts. You're the sweetest person. I hope I'll be able to kick the U-AIC's ass because, after all, I am Savalicious. (I may have spelled that wrong - I'm out of practice, lol.)

Natasha Fondren said...

I don't mind the "you suck" voice, LOL. Gets me going, actually. :-) I'm contrary.

But when I take a break, it takes me a while to get back into the writing groove. I always suck the first couple days back, and I can only manage a couple hundred words that I have to drag out of me letter by letter. After three or four days, I finally start hitting my groove. And I don't stop, lest I have to go through the grind again. *shudder*

Kath Calarco said...

Natasha, I have to say that I hope to never again spend this much time away. Hope I can ignore the "you suck" comments long enough to stay in the groove. :)

Marcia Colette said...

The U-AIC and I have a special bond. Usually when she starts in with the "this is total crap", I end it with "Oh well. Movin' on anyway." About 95% of the time, that helps me accept the fact that I won't ever be perfect, so I shouldn't expect it. Also, it keeps me moving forward.

lainey bancroft said...

'K, lets put your U-AIC and mine in a room together and let them fight to the death.

At least then we'll have to tap into the creativity well deep enough to come up with a new excuse for slacking. Besides that lame old 'life gets in the way,' which is my excuse du jour =)

Repeat after me: "I DO NOT suck!"

Kath Calarco said...

Marcia, I can't believe I never returned a comment until now! Bad me. But I like your clever ways of dealing. Your coping skills will come in handy once baby is on board.

Kath Calarco said...

Okay, Lainey. "I do not suck!"