Or: When you’re stuck, take a break and plunge into your favourite book. And maybe have a glass of wine or two. And relax and enjoy it.
Which is exactly what I chose to do tonight. I’m up to my head in to do lists that get longer and longer every day, with mostly tasks that are quite urgent, important, and need to be done by Friday. Today’s Thursday. Not really looking good now, is it?
There’s things like huge reports to write, lectures to prepare, research to be done for enormous upcoming events and then of course the preparations for a family vacation, lists of things to pack, getting the clothes all washed and put away, scrub the house clean, plan the holiday activities and in the ideal case, at least google what there is to be done and visited with the kids down there.
Yup, lot’s of important stuff. And then there is, of course, my novel. Not exactly a priority in my grown-up responsible world where I have to make a living and see to that things are all working out, but yet… I keep it very close to the level of importance of the other stuff on my list.
This week I was supposed to do the last read through. It was supposed to be simple, really. Just a tiny polishing round, smoothing down the edges and rough spots. But, considering that I lost the courage at the end of tbe novel last week and although I edited it all the way through, I ended up doing it in a rather sloppy, half-hearted way. There are still some gaps to be filled, characters to be given a final name, illogic scenes to be straightened out… and lots of other stuff.
So if I wanted to get the work done, or any of my pending urgent patients all lying in the waiting room, screaming for attention, tonight would have been a really good time to start getting serious about it.
But this damned list has been chasing me for so long already that it feels like a boulder stuck with an iron chain to my leg and that I just am too tired to pull along, at least for now.
So I stopped. I sat down on this cursed boulder and took a break to indulge in something that makes me happy. Which in my case is re-reading for what I think is the third time Stephen King’s On Writing.
I don’t know what exactly it is that makes me smile and relax and love the book even more each time. I’ve never been one to indulge in re-reading books, I’ve never really seen the point in doing such things (although it would certainly not be the worst of experiences as I tend to forget the ending of each story, be it a book or a movie – severe case of short term memory I guess).
I love the way he talks about his childhood, the funny stories, the realistic and completely unromantic road towards becoming an author. I guess it is just the bluntness of the storytelling, the rough edges, without any perfume-induced roses paving the way. Because that’s simply how it is. It’s what they call life, work, experience and sometimes, the odd bit of good and bad luck.
And so, indulging in the pleasure of reading, once again, one of the main and only books on writing that actually ever did any impression on me, I’m thinking:”Oh well, tomorrow’s another day.”
I’ve come this far and somehow I know that this break is exactly what I need to make it all happen.