I am absolutely royalty when it comes to getting sidetracked. I have no problem with my vision or the stories that I want to tell. There is an endless flow of words that need to come out of my head or, quite literally, I start to break down mentally and physically. The same way some people get hangry, I get . . . wrangry? I don’t know, I workshop that one. But despite the very obvious benefits for me personally, and the very nebulous deficits, I allow myself to get distracted.
I don’t mean temporarily. I mean for decades. Decades. I have authored novels and I have done nothing with them. I have a few anthologies worth of short stories and at least one book of poetry, not including my sappy teenage years. What do I do with them? Nothing. What do I plan to do with them?
That changes day to day, it seems. Obviously, I want to get them published. I mean, who wouldn’t? And it the age of Kindle and Kobo, self-publishing couldn’t be easier. Or cheaper and accessible.
But I am never quite finished my novels to my satisfaction, so I end up re-writing them. I am convinced it is all a part of the writing process. Stephen King doesn’t even publish his first through eighteenth drafts. He does, however, publish his work.
One of the many, many ways Mr. King and I differ as writers.
I don’t think he was -or possibly is- any less anxious about producing work. I am sure he fought back the fear on many occasions when coming out with a new story, with a new flavour, breaking the mould as he so often does.
The difference is he doesn’t allow the distraction. He writes. He isn’t getting sidetracked with all the vagaries life throws his way, including success. He has a process, he sticks to it, and he accomplishes amazing things.
So, here I am again, trying not to get sidetracked. Trying to focus on the writing and creating. Diving into the pool and trying to swim.
One of these days I will keep my head above the water.