on things we find

Over the past few days, I’ve been doing some tidying, mainly of old files on my computer, and it’s been an uncomfortable experience for me as a would-be writer.

I have started a large number of projects that I have never brought to a conclusion, and I’ll admit that the weight of all of them together is becoming – has become – a bit difficult to bear. Most of these are short stories where I’ve pulled together part of a draft but then moved on to the first draft of part of the next story, never going back to finish what I’d started.

I knew that this was a habit that I’d formed over time, but I hadn’t realized the extent of it. (I could give you, dear reader, a number but I’m not sure you’d be believe me. Let it suffice to say, it’s larger than it should be.) One particularly sharp realization was that the novel that all who know me have given up on ever seeing, is almost of voting age; the oldest file I’ve found dates back to February 2002.

And it goes beyond just the writing projects I’ve started. So yes, perhaps part of this whole process will be a moderation of ambition; not taking on the too many things that I also have a tendency to do.

So, yikes.

All the old familiar voices have been joining into my internal chorus. Some of these stories are ones that others have taken the time and effort to comment on, and yet still they sit. I’m not getting any younger. The day job. My capacity for procrastination seems to have reached what can only be described as epic proportions.

I’ve written about procrastination before, but I haven’t really confronted this knack I have for procrastination; it might be fair to say that I keep putting off doing so.

No more. I don’t have the strength or the desire to carry the half completed and barely started anymore. Today is the day I draw a line in the sand. I am too aware that I will slip and that I won’t deal with things while they are in hand, setting them aside to start the slow process of gathering dust. But today I start.

Setting this declaration down in such a (potentially) public way seems to be me to be a strange thing to do; all I can think is that this is where my mind is today, and this is what’s coming through my fingers as I sit down to type.

And there is something that occurs to me. If you’ve taken the time to read this far, please feel free to poke. Ask about the daily word count. Ask about how whether I’ve resubmitted the recently rejected. Ask, if you wish, about the novel.

And now, I have a bit of time and so I’m going to sit down and put down some words. I’ll do some more organizing, as there is always more to be done, lining up the things to be done, but for the next little while, let’s focus some time and attention on the doing.

~ by Jim Anderson on 30 November 2019.

3 Responses to “on things we find”

  1. […] spent some time this weekend doing some of this pruning. This is, I suppose, a continuation of last weekend and its exploration of old […]

  2. […] few weeks ago, I wrote about encounters with old files and some reflections that arose from those encounters, including the impetus to finish some of […]

  3. […] interested, some earlier reflections on aspects of procrastination can be found here and here, and here and here, and here and […]

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