by Carie Juettner
Yesterday I was procrastinating on the revisions I was supposed to be working on by walking around my house looking for something else to do. You see, I'd been procrastinating for a while already, so it wasn't easy to find a distraction. The house was clean, the dog was brushed, the books were arranged on the bookcases by height and then by color and then by length of title... Ok, perhaps I'm exaggerating just a tad, but it's true that sometimes my best creativity gets spent on procrastination techniques.
So, with no house to clean and no dog to brush and no pressing reason to re-rearrange my bookshelves, I turned my attention to my grocery list. Had I remembered everything I needed from the store? Was there some tantalizing snack I hadn't earned but wanted to buy anyway? Here was a revision I could handle.
As my eyes scanned the list, they fell on an item near the bottom that said, "Cue Tips." I burst out laughing.
When you're a writer, everything you write becomes a piece, a draft. There are no mere notes, no scribbles, no lists, only mini manuscripts, words to pour over, from which to decipher deeper meaning. Even our typos are trying to tell us something. I often type “write” when I mean “right.” I recently sent an email to a friend explaining that I couldn't hang out this weekend because, "I'm really busy write now." There it was. WRITE NOW. A subliminal message from my own brain.
And here was another one, staring at me between bananas and dental floss: CUE TIPS. I walked back to my office, still laughing, and sat down at my computer. I went to my blog, still chuckling, and searched for the posts I'd written a few months ago on my own personal writing tips. I re-read my advice on revising and, even more relevant, my advice on avoiding procrastination. And finally, as the giggles subsided and my chastised muse returned, I put my fingers on the keyboard and got back to work.
I apologize for the cheesiness, but yes, this is one of those stories that ends with, "The power was within you all along!" It's true. The power to write is within us, the power to revise is within us, and the power to climb over those blocks and bumps and force ourselves to stop bathing the cat or re-organizing the junk drawer and get back to work... that power is within us too.
It's just that we sometimes need a misspelled grocery list to find it.
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