Words to live by

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." –Samuel Johnson

So maybe this is my problem. As much as I say I want to finish my novel, and as much as I think I want to finish my novel, I think I’ve internalized the fact that no one is paying me to do this, and there’s a chance (probably a good one) that no one will ever pay me for having done it. (Don’t say that! –internal cheerleader)

And so I find 1,001 ways to avoid working on the book, channeling my energy instead into Real Writing that someone is Paying Me to Do or into such worthwhile but non-writerly pursuits as cleaning my office (for the four-thousandth time this month), washing the laundry or applying Colgate Simply White to my teeth.

My latest method of novelistic evasion? Being firmly convinced that there is a deeply-rooted flaw in the very structure of the book, one which will not allow writing to progress until it is identified and rooted out. Poor Sweetie had to listen to me going on and on about this for a while last night over pizza ‘n’ wine.

Then this morning, while in the shower (the true mother of invention), I realized what the problem was. And also how to fix it.

And now I’ll have to come up with another way to avoid writing the book. Or maybe actually write the damn thing.

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
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7 Responses to Words to live by

  1. Herm says:

    Yes! Yes! Write it. A publisher will buy it. Powell’s will sell it. And you will go on to fame and fortune, and we can all retire to the beach.

  2. Elaine says:

    Write the book, Molly. Finish it by next week. There. now you have a deadline.
    If you still want to procrastinate, you are welcome to come out here and clean MY workspace. Seriously, dude. You could really kill MAJOR time in this hellhole.

  3. Amy Sorensen says:

    You need a good dose of writerly books. Like, say, Writing Down the Bones. Or, Writing Past Dark (also known as Amy’s Favorite Writing Book That No One Else Has Read). Of course, that is another way of procrastinating. But I think that procrastination is an art we writers perfect. We LOVE to write but the sitting down to do it is the most painful thing ever, easily put off by reading or thinking or cleaning the damn kitchen sink. Alas, I have no cheery recommendation for overcoming your procrastination. Except to say that when your book is published, I’m totally buying it!

  4. Gwyn says:

    Procrastination has WAY more value than anyone cares to admit. It’s what lets you do something REALLY good, instead of churning out a hack job.
    Now THAT, my dear, was a prime example of another “-ation”–rationalization!

  5. Melissa says:

    Isn’t amazing how the creative process is stumped by things we have to do? ugh. Good luck though…can’t wait to read it!

  6. Tiff says:

    EXACTLY!! I have the same method of (not) writing a novel 🙂

  7. Aby Garvey says:

    Hey Molly … I just saw you’re writing a novel. That’s fantstic! Just from reading your blog I know I’d love to read your novel! (And I hope you’ll keep working on it because I’d love to have an excuse to read something other than organizing and scrapbooking books.)
    By the way … at least you’re procrastinating before you finish the book … I finished my e-book and then waited for over 36 hours before letting anyone know it was done. Guess I was afraid no one would buy it, too! It’s all kinda scary but totally worth it! Good luck on yours!

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