Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blog Block Blah

I have a capital case of blog block at the moment. I am not facing a blank screen, I am facing one with a big sign on it saying : "Time is running out and you don't have anything to say do you?"  Scary.

Sometimes I imagine myself racing down the Lower Niagara River, a very fast river which screeches to a halt in a polluted lake. I am in a tub and as I race past the shores, I see all the things I want to see, do, read, write, talk about, write about, things I have to do short term and long term, joys headed by House Work. I whiz by. I miss it all. It's disorganization, frustrating and Stress. And it ends in a polluted lake no less.

My mind, during this joy ride, is stuffed with mental sticky notes to myself on everything I have read, heard or talked about to do with writing. These have been scattered all over hell and creation by a nasty cross wind. I'm stressed.

Hayley has issued a challenge - a Kick Ass Movement involving all Saskatchewan Romance Writer Guild members. It involves us all because we are all too ashamed of letting go for awhile, laxing and relaxing and altogether having to admit we aren't doing much writing these days. Nothing in an organized anyway.

 I fell for it. I set a goal of finishing a manuscript, synopsis and pitch before the Surrey International Writers' Conference to be held in October. Hayley has volunteered to Kick Ass. She is going to need a darn fine pair of kicking shoes to keep me in line.

Eye on the ball, ear to the ground, nose to the grindstone and how are you supposed to get anything done that way? That is about how I feel.

What's wrong? Well, all those sticky notes need to be dwelt upon. There is information from conferences, meetings, blogs, books, magazines, the vast vast internet, conversations, workshops - it's endless and it's all swirling around inside exhausting me. Do you ever feel like that?

So what am I going to do besides change my email address so Hayley can't get me? (Actually, it's okay if she finds me - in fact I hope she does. I have a lot of respect for Hayley's mind and writing skills - and kicking shoes).

I prefer hatpins as motivational tools myself.

I am going to take a few days to find all the 'sticky notes' - ideas -  I need and put them in loosely designated piles. Then, I am going to read a book and try to capture all this loose stuff so it doesn't scare me in the night.
I saw a tiger in a museum when I was small. It moved in under my bed and had me terrorized for years. I saw it again several years ago. It is faded, dusty and the hair is falling off. I can but hope the sticky notes moaning and screeching and scratching under my bed nowadays are found either, to be scared of sensational over-size dust bunnies or faded, dusty, hairless and ORGANIZED.

 I hate that word. But the fact is: we all need to obey it now and then or sink like rocks in that polluted lake.
My apologies to the Ontario Government which has been successfully working at cleaning up Lake Ontario for decades, but I fear it is still one of the few places where one can still walk on water.

The book I have chosen to help me stack the stickies is called "Fiction Writer's Workshop" by Josip Novakovich. I have chosen it because it is highly readable and because the Contents page is- (ughh)- organized including all the stops from finding an idea to cashing the cheque. With thoughtful reading and contemplation, it should help me get all the ideas corralled. Contemplation. It tried it once. It's okay I guess.

Anyway, once I dispense with the cherry, berry and weed picking with grandchildren, a couple of days at the lake with them getting worn out by all that energy, keeping up with my kick ass duties, buying a used rowboat, decorating it for the Regatta, painting the cabin, walking to lose weight (it's working), cleaning out the garage at the lake of junk so I can reorganize the cabin contents and store the junk in the garage, get some volunteer work out of the way, and read for ME, I am going to put my tentative plan in action.

I refuse to promise to report back because my Guilt Allowance is already tied in with Kick Ass.

In addition to "Fiction Writer's Workshop, I am going to take, "Pride and Prejudice", some romances, Vesey's Seed 's, Landsend's, Regal's and Bits and Pieces' catalogues and may the book marks fall where they may.

Giggle quietly, if at all. Thank you.


Joanne Brothwell said...

This is such a funny post, Connie! I love it.

You've captured that crazy, disorganized, guilt-laden feeling I'm sure we all have.

Enjoy the cherry/berry/weed picking with the grandkiddies while the weather is cooperating, and ignore that shaggy old tiger under the bed!

You can do it!

Liz Flaherty said...

That we should all be so blocked! What a fun and funny post. You made my day.

Jana Richards said...

Hey Connie,
I know how you feel. Sometimes my brain, my desk, my bulletin board and my inbox are so crammed with information I can't stand it. I want to shred/delete/forget everything.

One word of advice. Instead of the very long list of chores you mentioned that you have to do before you can write, how about writing first? In "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" Steven Covey says to put first things first. So if writing is important to you, do some writing first before you tackle anything else. Experience has taught me that I can always find one more chore to do because chores and housework are never ending. If I don't do some writing first, it never gets done.

Happy writing,

Janet said...

Connie, your brain is a lot like mine...

Take that as a compliment - I know I am :)

Don't stress overly much on the "To Do" list (says the girl who writes one every morning and laments the fact there's nothing checked off when I go to bed). And enjoy the summer - and your grandchildren!!

connie said...


Thank you for the compliment. I feel funny a lot.

The cherries await. I have given away big bags full and there are more. If you ever chance upon a Nanking cherry tree - buy, plant, marvel in the spring, pick, eat, enjoy. They also make incredible jam.

The tiger was returned to the museum some time ago but the sticky notes continue to howl in the night. If we present a united front, I think they will only multiply.



connie said...

Dear Liz,

I am glad to know you enjoyed the blog.

Many more happy days


connie said...

Hi Jana,

I tried to send you an amazing wmv but I keep getting the postmaster's disappointing message. Hope this one makes it.

I quite agree with you but when three bouncing grandkidlets at hand, taking time for anything else is hopeless.

If you run out of chores, I have some spring cleaning left over from 1973 I will share.


connie said...

Hi Janet,

A high compliment.

I looked up 'do' and 'list', and as I suspected, they are old English, bordering on Anglo Saxon, so there is no way to protest. Poop (Latin)So I guess we are part of an extremely long list of suckers.

Neverthenonetheless, I shall take your advice and lax, relax, loll and help build a fort.