I've been in a funk this past week. I've squeezed out a few hundred words a day, but no where near reached my daily minimum. Everything around me seems to be "keeping me from writing"* and my inspiration level has been set at non-existent.
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
The kids only have two and a half days of school this week. Mentally I gave up on the days they'll be home before they week even started - how will I get anything done with the kids around anyway?
My local NPR station switched its morning programing, and how can I expect to concentrate when my usual shows aren't on at the accustomed times?
My laptop wallpaper is old and no longer inspires me. But ninety minutes spent surfing for new paper last night didn't result in anything more exciting.
The news is full of heartbreaking stories of the dead, missing, and too-few survivors in Haiti. My heart is heavy, and I'm not feeling the sexy vibe.
Hubs is in transition with his job, and pops into my office (or calls me from the other end of the house) at least twice an hour. Half an hour ago he was in here talking to me, and after my fourth "huh" in as many minutes he asked "Are you listening to me?"
Sheepish look from me. "Not really, I'm trying to work."
"Why didn't you say so?" he muttered before he walked away, leaving me alone.
I can feel the silence swelling around me. It's even more distracting than his talking.
Now you tell me, with all that going on how can anyone expect me to get any work done?
If you've made it this far, are you ready to throw a bucket of cold water over me yet? Because really, I think someone needs to.
Yes, the kids have a short school week. This happens multiple times a year. They're also old enough to actually leave me alone for 30 minute stretches if I plan around it.
NPR switched programming on me. Not a life altering event, unless I have totally lost the ability to go with the flow. I have NOT become that person (yet).
The events in Haiti are terrible. But even in tragedy, my deadlines need to be reached, my commitments met.
Desktop wallpaper - really? Did I honestly think for longer than 10 seconds that this was my problem? (Sadly, yes. Can I have my ninety minutes back?)
Neil Gaiman says,
"One word after another. That's the only way that novels get written and, short of elves coming in the night and turning your jumbled notes into Chapter Nine it's the only way to do it."Those words have been my desktop wallpaper since November, inspiring me every day when I sit down at my desk. Now why didn't I just copy this picture over to my laptop last night, instead of looking for inspiration on Google Images.
So what's really been "keeping me from writing"* all week? Me.
It's all me. None of the above excuses, or the other two dozen that were just too lame to even put on the screen, had to keep me from writing. Now that I've written all this out, I can see that it's all been nothing but a bunch of poor-me'isms that I turned into a huge waste of time.
Two more of my favorite quotes that popped into my head today.
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Why didn't I have this talk with myself six days ago? The only person who can fix me, is me. No one else can put my fingers on the keyboard, and the elves sure haven't been coming in the night.
But just in case - if anyone has a favorite source of inspiration, I'd love to see it.