Discipline, party of one

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.