I have a deadline for the YA novel I’m writing. That’s good. But to meet this deadline, I’m finding that I need to commit to the writing. Otherwise it simply does not get done. What a surprise, eh? Seems like a clear Homer Simpson “D’oh!” moment. But I’ve never put writing first. By first, I mean after recovery. Recovery always comes first, otherwise there’s no second. I’ve led so much of my life by writing after everything else gets done, that I’m finding it difficult to make this shift. It’s an intriguing change. And there are costs. I get to give up busy-ness that seems to help my ego or give me some kind of social identity. Writing, getting the words down, is not a social act. The finished product and the reading of it, the sharing of the product as it gets written — those are social acts. But the writing itself is immensely solitary. It’s not quiet — I tend to get very noisy with the characters in my head and on the page. Some of them talk back and let me know that they won’t participate in a certain plot turn. And it’s not lonely — the creative spirit hangs out and butts in every once in a while with a zen-ish comment or two.
deadline and commitment