I'm a procrastinator.
I've had almost two weeks of peace and quiet while my husband and daughter are enjoying the sights of Holland, and here I sit, having accomplished next to nothing since they've been gone. I can't say I haven't been productive at all, but all the things I had been planning for the last few months, all the things I was going to do while they were gone, have been tossed into the wind.
It's been too quiet. Who knew that quiet can be distracting? There was a time when I loved the quiet. Could sit for hours reading or just being, in the moment. Listening to the sounds of the world around me that we are often too busy to notice. Like the curious buzzing of that annoying bee that keeps forcing me from the patio. Like the birds chattering to one another, or the squirrels snickering as they bury their peanuts. All this, I used to enjoy. Now, after more than three years of never being alone, that silence feels like it's going to swallow me whole.
Well that was the first week.
We're into the second week of them being gone and it's getting a little easier. I've read. I've gone to the library, and then read some more. I've started writing a whole new story. Only a couple of pages but it's a start. And that is where the problem lies.
I have too many unfinished projects on the go and instead of sitting and finishing them, I start on something new.
Other writers have advised time and again, finish what you start. And I've tried. Adhereing to that philosophy, I have finished a few short stories. But it's the bigger projects I keep hiding from. And rather than buckle down and get 'er done, I start something new.
What am I afraid of? The projects themselves are daunting, but I know are doable. Am I afraid of actually finishing them? That could be it. I've heard writers say that, too. But what is it in me that makes me afraid to finish something I started.
Doubt maybe? That I am going to invest all this time into something and no one is ever going to want to read it? Or am I just sick of the project. So much time already invested and the story isn't going where I want it to?
Maybe I'm not so different from every other writer out there. We write, we get sick of it or critical of ourselves so we file it away for another day and go on to something else. Only to get sick of that project and the cycle continues until there is a stack of unfinished manuscripts so high you can't see over it and then you're overwhelmed.
But all that said, I haven't been entirely unproductive. I've been researching. A new project yes. But one that I know will take a long time to complete. So while the searching continues I really need to work on something else.
So today, I think I'll go get a haircut.