It’s October 1st and sometime in the next few days I’m supposed to turn in my second packet of writing for my MFA program which includes a short story and three reader’s response papers. I’ve written most of this month’s short story and I’ve done all the reading that I agreed to do, but the hard work still lies ahead of me.
Finishing short stories is always the hardest part because I never really know what’s going to happen with my characters. I start a story with an idea, an image or an event and I create from there. It’s truly making something out of nothing and it’s always scary. There is always the fear that for some reason it won’t work this time around. It can also be incredibly emotionally draining, which is why I procrastinate like crazy at this stage of the process.
I’ll get it done, I always do, but all week I’ve been finding other things to occupy my time. Last weekend I started a new knitting project. I’ve begun reading two books that are unrelated to my MFA. I squandered my one day off during the week to hang out with friends and play around on my new computer. I’ve taken lots of photos. (see below) I’ve written two articles. I’ve done the dishes several times when I could easily have opted out with the ‘I need to work on my school’ excuse. I changed the format of my blog. I learned two new fiddle tunes! Last night I even did two foreign language lessons (French and Spanish) on Mango, a new, free online offering through the library website. And here I am now, writing for my blog when I should be writing fiction.
Overall I’ve been very productive in my procrastination. But the deadline is looming and I need to focus. I need to sit my butt down in the chair, turn off the internet and find out what is going to happen with Larry, the simple, yet complicated guy that I made up. I need to make him believable and interesting. I need to find that thing about him that we can all relate to, something heartbreaking and funny and beautiful. I need to bring him to life in a world that’s as real as yours and mine. None of it’s going to happen though if I don’t stop putting it off. I’ll get right on it after I take the dog for a walk and clean the house. Really, I will.