The fabulous D.C. McMillen:
Thanks for letting me take up a bunch of space on your blog today, Kelly! I am so happy to be here. The change of scenery suits me, I think. ;)
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my sofa willing my boyfriend to shut the television off so he’ll stop distracting me with inane questions like, “Did he just say RPM’s? What’s rotating on that machine? NOTHING, that’s what! How big of an idiot is this narrator?” Of course I assume the question is rhetorical and so I don’t bother answering. Instead I offer sort of a murmur that will likely be construed as agreement.
What’s that? Why don’t I bother to move my ass off the sofa and go write in another room, you ask? Well, the boyfriend and I live in a 630 sq ft unit. Short of forcing the dog and cat to share the prime real estate that is our bed or locking myself in the washroom, there is not really anywhere for me to hide away inside this apartment. Yes, I’m aware I could go to the coffee shop downstairs and partake in their free internet but that would involve showering and running a brush through my hair. Besides, the boyfriend will leave for work, sooner rather than later if my Jedi mind tricks work their magic.
Okay, it’s time to fess up. Life’s distractions that often hit me in the form of an angry boyfriend yelling at Myth Busters or How It’s Made, an hour long conversation with my mother about whether or not going together for Botox injections could be considered a good bonding experience or just a fun night out, and my as of yet incurable Twitter addiction are only part of my writing problems. I’m in a mood for baring my soul, people, so now I am going to confess my real issue:
I am not an efficient writer.
Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a talented writer (I say with only a hint of egotism). I simply go through phases that involve an extreme lack of discipline.
My stories usually start with a spark. I see a man on the subway, a picture in a magazine, or perhaps overhear a ludicrous conversation at the dog park and my creative mind cranks into overdrive. I reach for my laptop and the fingers start flying across the keyboard. After a thousand words or so, I look back over what I’ve written and begin formulating a plot, notes, and developments. Or not. Sometimes I dismiss the writing as pure rubbish. Sometimes I genuinely like the beginnings of my story but I am distracted by another prompt that turns me in a new direction. And then another. By the end of, say, a month I may have half a dozen stories saved on my computer that are nowhere near completion.
Obviously, this lack of follow through can make one feel a little discouraged. Now, if I was writing this confession even just a year ago, I might have replaced discouraged with utterly fucking hopeless. Thankfully I have learned a thing or two since I first started down this road. I may start several stories that go nowhere, yes. But then I write something that somehow grips me to the point that the characters will not let go until I have finished their story. I launch into a writing frenzy, barely popping up for air, and I don’t stop until I’ve typed the words The End. And then I delete the words The End because who really ends a story with that these days?
Luckily my lack of discipline does not extend to the editing phase. I’m not sure why this is but my current theory is that my brain does not consider the story truly complete until it’s out of my hands and sitting in the inbox of a publisher.
So, dear viewers, now that I’ve revealed my serious issues with writing, why not reveal a couple of your hurdles? Come on...we’re friends now, right?
D.C. is obsessed with Twitter and invites you to look her up at @mcmillendc, her blog, or on Facebook, where she goes sometimes.