The end of summer also means the beginning of my writing year.
Oh, I write during the summer. I write Emails and blog posts. I write letters and grocery-shopping lists. I even revise my fiction and write critiques for writing friends. But I don’t write first drafts of new fiction stories.
I developed this pattern when my kids were little. As they had no babysitter, summer was at Camp Mama. It’s the nature of the Mama Job to be interrupted all the time with every sort of urgent task, and the focus that is required for new real writing wasn’t possible. Although I swear my kids still seem to think I’m eminently interruptible, I could probably manage to leave them alone and go off to some dungeon now. But the pattern of summers off was set, and I found it was good for me.
When the second part of August shows up, I begin to feel the twitches. Like running one’s hands over the car door, jiggling the keys, but not inserting the key or pushing the start button. Not quit yet.
And with that comes the Doubt Elf. Can you do it? Will the engine start? Doubt Elf brings with him the Excuses Guy. Excuses Guy says thing like, “Don’t start quite yet, you still have weeding/straightening/whatever to do,” and “Shouldn’t you be promoting your just published book?”
“Excuses will end when you stop making them”
Mirka M. G. Breen, August 2012
She’s right^. I remind myself of another thing-This is *for me.* I’m happiest writing the first draft.
On your mark, get set---