My laundry is sorted and the bills are paid. But wait – I haven’t checked my email in three minutes. Better get on that. What else, what else. The windows need opening a crack. I need the perfect room temperature before I start. Starting would be good. I’ll just sit right here and – wait – did I check my tracking report? Must see who’s visiting my website; never know which publishers are going to find my web page and – wait – my emails. Did I check my – this may be a good time for a bathroom break. That was close, back to the tracking report. Stop it. Focus. Just start.
Sitting at my writing desk, my eyes are focused on the computer screen, and I see her. She’s batting her eyes again, judging me, waiting patiently for the first letter of the day, the first word. Her vertical stance says so much by saying nothing. She’s a seductress and sorcerer, my Cursor Friend. But I am nothing if not up for her challenge.
You want words? I’ll give you words and you will follow them with breathless anticipation. And each word will be better than the next until you look back and see what I’ve created and your sheepish blinking will be taken over by thunderous applause.
That’s the plan.
It’s been exactly 219 days since I began writing my memoir – a story about a young woman with orange eye-shadow, white pumps and over sprayed hair who graced the adult entertainment stage. Serenaded by 80’s rock bands like Poison, Jon Bon Jovi and Mötley Crue, she reveled in the spotlight for the better part of a decade. But what started out as a way to feel attractive ended up stripping her beauty away.
I thought I’d be finished by now. How hard can it be to tell a story about yourself? I mean, it’s my memoir, not The Catcher in the Rye.
My writing journey so far has unveiled to me a simple truth: There is nothing more personal than creativity that pours through another human being. Musicians have melody. Artists have paint. Writers have words. Great writers will make you hear the music and see the brushstrokes on the page. It’s what I am aiming to do.
I’ve come to a point in my manuscript that causes me to take pause. I can’t seem to focus on simply writing. I need more discipline and structure. My story is beginning to breathe, so why do I sabotage the very thing I want to do, which is complete my manuscript? In short, it’s becoming too personal. How delicious.
It’s ironic because what I am writing about involves a fair amount of disarray and chaos. At least I’m consistent.
It’s both thrilling and annoying to know what you want to do but are afraid of following through. That’s the beauty of creative minds. Personally, I thrive off the agony, and through the process of writing, look forward to basking in the applause of my own Cursor’s Shadow.
Please tell me I am not the only one who struggles with self-discipline.
Published by Christine Macdonald
About Christine Macdonald
Christine Macdonald is a Los Angeles based author from the island of O’ahu.
Through her writing she uses her voice, a unique blend of cutting truth and self-deprecating humor to inspire others to release their shame and tell their story.
She is public about her struggles with clinical depression and PTSD from childhood abuse.
Her forthcoming book of essays about surviving addiction and a career in the sex industry will be published in 2020.
For more on Christine’s remarkable story visit her website www.poletosoul.com.
View all posts by Christine Macdonald
6 thoughts on “Discipline, party of one”
You have hit to the very core of my writer soul as I sit here yelling, "This is me! This is me!" I think because writing is not easy. And Good writing is downright hellaciously hard. And that damn cursor taunts me and if I turn away from its blink to my blog, or my emails or even TMZ, I forgot about working those words out of my soul for just a little while. And yes, an artist's ability to create is just the most sacred thing. I think that's what makes it even harder to bring it all into the light. Putting your words or your art or your song out there for the world to see and judge is incredibly brave, almost sometimes too daunting.
Thanks so much for your comment. It makes me feel like I am not going crazy… xxoo
I have short spontaneous moments, where words fly of the fingertips. My thoughts, which I have many, explode into view. My poems however, wait until my mood hits the bottom, words wrung from the darkest moods in my mind. My soul bruised and battered reveals much more. you are doing fine. the end is in sight!
Discipline goes out the window the harder the writing gets. Whether "hard" means "how do I make these elements come together" or in a memoir, "how much of myself do I want to reveal and deal with?" Oh yeah, we've ALL been there!!The best piece of advice I ever got was "just write it." Make it pretty and poetic later. Right now, just get the story on paper even if it's complete crap. Then once it's out there, you can craft it into a masterpiece!
It's easier for me to write about the wild times I had because it's entertaining. But now? What is entertaining about a middle class stay-at-home-mom that doesn't drink, party, or even eat sugar? I have to dig a lot deeper to see why anyone would continue reading beyond my first AA meeting. You are extremely talented. Even when you aren't writing you're still creating, thinking about the story. No time is waisted. (Right?)
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