Avoiding…I am really good at it

The holiday season is upon us. Well, it has been for weeks now. For me, being one who works for an online retailer, I was thinking about Christmas I think in September. But, the past couple of weeks has been a flurry of shopping, shopping, wrapping and decorating. All very fun things to do. I also keeps the mind otherwise occupied while the artist quietly works away at the next piece.

I was very proud of myself. I wrote 10 whole pages of my novel. It is very exciting to see a few months work typed up neatly onto the computer in some kind of cohesive order. I was even writing in between meetings and during a really boring workshop at work…sorry, but by two o’clock, I was done. I found that the characters wanted to come out and say hi. It has been an invigorating experience.

But, with the snow falling and my lack of desire to get up in the darkness, up until this week, I slept way past the alarm and so scattered that by the time I got on the bus, it was hard to focus. My quiet mornings writing in my notebook on the bus dissipated in an instant and I didn’t write for three weeks.

The thing is, I knew there was stuff to write. I knew that if I just took 20 minutes and sat down, the words would be there. Instead, I shopped and cleaned and watched TV. Instead, I read books, surfed the net and went shopping. Instead, I avoided the writing.

Then, early yesterday morning, I woke up from a bad dream. I get them from time to time. I won’t go into it here right now, but my bad dreams tend to be very violent and disturbing. But, from that dream came a whole page of words. I knew that I could no longer avoid it. My subconscious kicked me in the ass and I had no choice but to comply. So, I sat down on my blue chair in the corner of my room, put my lapdesk on my lap and wrote. Ten minutes later, a page of words emerged. Perhaps I will share it with you when I am ready.

That being said, I think this is a busy time of year. I am not making excuses for myself (maybe I am?) but I do think that there are times when the day-to-day stuff will take over. I think in the past however, I would have gone months without writing instead of weeks. So, for me…I call this progress.

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About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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