I want you. I want you so bad. I want you. I want you so bad, it’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad.
That’s how I feel right now about my Work In Progress.
Friends, family, work, TV, the internet, eating, sleeping, reading, blogging, cleaning out your closets… On any given day it’s easy to get distracted. Life holds not only Jungian hierarchies and obligations, but also the freedom to make poor choices, give in to poor time management skills, a million cracks in the sidewalks, and a few other things that can get in the way of our goals.
Generally speaking, everyone has time for what’s truly important to them, but some things are completely out of our control: Computer crashes, health problems, money problems, accidents, theft of one’s laptop… If you read my last post then you know that two weeks ago when my husband and I were in Costa Rica, we were robbed. They took not only our electronics, ALL of them, but also my eyeglasses and Rx sunglasses, four pair of shoes, jewelry, clothes, and most importantly, they stole two weeks of my life. That’s how long it has taken me to regroup, replace all my stuff (including my peace of mind), and get back to writing. The two most fortunate aspects of what we’ve been through are, one, we were not harmed physically, and, two, they did not steal my novel in progress.
My dear Twitter friend, Taylor Stevens—NYTBSA of The Informationist and The Innocent—and I agreed that a writer’s list of priorities are: 1) Life, 2) Work in progress, 3) Everything else. Los hombres malos did not get my novel because I was wise enough to back it up each day. (Note to others: since I was traveling, I actually emailed my novel to myself each night so that no matter what happened to my electronics, my novel would be safe. Google Docs would also work.)
What would have happened if I lost all 200 pages and all my notes and outlines and research? Would I have had it in me to start over, rewrite the entire work from memory, re-interview my experts? As much as I want this novel to be published (that would be more than anything in the world other than good health for me and my loved ones), I’m not sure if I could have garnered the strength and energy to recreate it. I would have been a pile of mush, I know that much. I would have been devastated. I would have tried, but I’m not sure if I would have felt capable of bringing it back to life, or if I would just have moved on. I do know I would not have given up writing all together.
This I know for sure: I am a writer; I will always write.
Fortunately, I am safe and I am back. I want this SO badly I must keep writing. So without further ado, please excuse me while I go apologize to my characters for abandoning them for the past two weeks, and see if I can’t write them in and out of a few more mini-dramas.
What about you? What’s the most important goal of your life? How badly do you want it? What would it take for you to be defeated? What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal? Sure helps determine your priorities, doesn’t it?
Turns out orderly closets aren’t so important after all.