I’m going to switch things up a little this week and instead of talking about writing I’m going to talk about not writing. Because what I’ve learned about writing is that it’s kinda the worst a lot of the time and revisions are even worse than that, so I think the thing that I have become MOST skilled at, over the years, is ways in which to avoid it. My agent is not reading this, right? Good.
Like, for instance, last night I literally went through my bookcase and made a list of all the books I want to read this year and then counted how many were fiction, non-fiction, or plays and then spread them out evenly so I was getting variety. I then made sure to not read too many serious books in a row and mix in something funny or light, which, let’s be honest, most of my non-fiction are celebrity biographies so things are pretty light on that end. This is a thing I did to avoid writing.
And tonight I had to call my mother. That took, like, fifteen minutes and I had to eat dinner first and then had to clean my bathroom. I HAD to.
And you would not BELIEVE how much time I spend thinking about juggling. Because it’s a lot. When I was in high school I read this article about how if you imagine yourself doing something, practice it in your head, when you actually do it you’ll be that much farther along. They used the example of driving. How you should always be thinking about it and when you’re in a car you should imagine yourself as the driver and if you do these things you’ll be more comfortable when the time comes for you to be behind the wheel. So now I apply this to juggling. Rather than watch YouTube tutorials or buy books or actually PRACTICE juggling, I simply IMAGINE myself juggling so that one day I can be in a place where someone will say, “Man, I really wish there were a juggler here,” and I will say, “Your prayers have been answered!” This person will also magically have seven balls that I will then juggle with ease despite having never before in my life juggled more than two pairs of rolled socks. This article told me this would happen and that it would be magnificent.
I can remember an article I read in high school, but I can’t remember what I ate for lunch today. I think about that a lot, too, instead of writing.
I will never juggle fire. Fire terrifies me. Also water. In SPARROW, my main character is a fire breather and in my WIP the main character lives on an island. Look at me facing my fears! I also spend a lot of time thinking about the worst ways to die. (Burning alive. Drowning. Freezing to death. Those are the top three, but certainly not the comprehensive list. A comprehensive list does indeed exist. I wrote one. Worst ways to die and also my biggest fears. Instead of “writing” I wrote a list of things that scare me.)
Making music playlists. I like to have a soundtrack for each year of my life and I still haven’t made ones 2014 OR 2013. So I need to do that, probably.
But this morning someone told me they’d hold me accountable so I must get back to writing. Two thousand words a day. I will stop making lists and thinking about juggling (I will never stop thinking about juggling).
We can do this, guys. Taylor Swift* says so.**
*I also binge-watch a bunch of television. What up, Mindy Project.
**Look at Rosie’s muscles. You know she juggled.