Friday, October 29, 2004
Cloudy and cool
I’ve lost yet another day of creative writing. Today is my mother’s 80th birthday, and I am determined that when she gets here tonight, we will have a merry evening. Also, I’m helping my friend and neighbor pack up and get everything ready for her move to Virginia tomorrow.
I don’t mind preparing a good birthday for my mother or helping my friend. I just wish I could find more hours in the day.
In addition, there were errands to be run, a sink to be unclogged, and WICKED was on THE VIEW today, so everything had to stop so I could watch my colleagues get a standing ovation in the studio. It is a year tomorrow that WICKED opened. I was a guest at the opening (the show I then worked on opened the night before and we had the following night off), and now I work on it. It’s work of which I’m proud, and a lovely group of people. Even though I’m in the process of leaving the business, I am honored to work with this group. And, of course, there are the preparations for the upcoming few days. Never made it to the grocery store, never made it to the art supply store, so tomorrow . . .
I was ready for a glass of wine by 2 p.m. So I had one.
Although these days have been a creative loss, I managed to get some business work done. I’ve caught up on a good bit of e-mail. Yesterday, I started work on a prospect list for a business mailing. There are plenty of things about which I know nothing – I am probably not the best person to write about air conditioning ducts. But I could write some great copy for an art gallery or a dressmaker or an historical society. So I’m putting together a package to target those areas. I did some work today for the KIC mag, and some planning for the possible road trip to do a workshop in Vidalia, GA next spring.
I worked on the first issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter, which I plan to send out next week. I was afraid I had nothing to say, but, as usual, I have plenty. I'm also going to include writing tips in every issue.
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and sign up!!!
I also got out another mailing that needed to go out. So it wasn’t that I didn’t do ANY work, it’s just that I didn’t do any work on the fiction.
I visited the Upper East Side yesterday afternoon, and one of the fun things is t take the bus uptown and gaze into all the boutiques. There’s little I would buy – I can make most of the clothes, or get it at deep discount. Anything trendy, I can throw together on the sewing machine for 1/20th of the store cost. And, since it’s generally only around for a couple of months, then I don’t feel like I’ve wasted money.
If I didn’t have to look at price tags, I’d buy a few pieces from Chanel, from Giorgio Armani and from Tse. All three are timeless. And the workmanship is excellent. Why pay designer prices for things that are poorly constructed and come apart the first time you wear them? I go into a store, and I check linings, pattern matches, stitching. If the workmanship is shoddy, I don’t buy it. I have some Tse pieces, and they wear well – always a plus when you work in theatre and deal with animals (the four-legged kind, not the actors).
After wrestling with myself for weeks, I decided not to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year, although many people I know are doing it. I love the idea of writing a 75,000 word novel in a month. It’s only 2500 words a day, and that’s pretty much my output anyway.
But it means starting yet another project. And I need to work on the serials, work on the articles, my business plan, etc. And I have the Congress Corners cycle that’s occupying far too much of my brain, and The Other Project clamoring for attention and . . .
Ultimately, I had to ask myself, why do I want to do it this year?
I was not happy with my answer.
My answer was “Ego.”
Starting and finishing another project within the month while juggling everything else would stroke my ego. That’s it. I have enough projects in various stages that I don’t need to add another one right now. And I need my attention to be on high quality for the serials, the short stories, the articles, and putting the business plan into motion so that I can make the monthly financial goal I set for myself in 2005.
In other words, I would be writing for the wrong reasons, instead of for the love of the work.
So, this year, I am designating myself as a Cheerleader (hey, I never was one in school, I’ll make up for it now) for all of those who are doing it. I’m going to encourage, support and be happy for them.
This year, it’s not the right choice for me to participate as a writer. Perhaps next year, it will. And I want to make sure that I do it next year because I have a story aching to be told, and it’s a good time to let it all pour out. Not because I want to impress myself and stroke my own ego (don’t go there, people, I’m talking in literal terms here, not, ahem, rhetorical or metaphorical).
Making the decision and knowing in my gut that it’s the right one filled me with relief.
Now, if I can just get some creative work done. . . .