Monday, October 28, 2013

The Guilt Clock

I'm sure it is no coincidence the thought that I should update this blog popped into my head exactly one year after I wrote and published my last post.  Seriously.  I had the thought that I should write a new post, checked the date of my last post, which was October 26, 2012, and then my eyes traveled down to the date in the lower right hand corner of my computer:  October 27, 2013.  Apparently, I have my own internal guilt clock.

I wish I could say I have been so busy working on my second novel that I just haven't had the time to blog about writing, but I'd be a liar.  I have been busy, but not with anything I expected to be busy with when I attempted to plan out my future over a year ago.  Back then I didn't know that simply trying to keep my dog alive would be the theme of the century.  I didn't expect to have a fourth horse to train.  I didn't know that a small plumbing leak would lead to losing my entire kitchen.  I didn't know that my doctors would keep finding tumors, cysts and polyps popping up all over my body at a distressingly rapid rate reminiscent of how my father's life ended.  Yet so far I have been fortunate to have everything test out as benign. 

I have made several attempts to get back into the flow of writing my novel, but the thing just seems to be jinxed.  As soon as I get engrossed in research and recording a new paragraph, the phone rings with distracting news, a dog vomits on the carpet, something catches on fire, or I hear screaming outside.  Believe me, the interruptions can be anything from the commonplace to once-in-a-lifetime, million-to-one odds, freakish events.  Sometimes I think that if I finish this novel, something horrible will happen, which is why the world won't let me finish it.

In fact, this is the third time I've attempted writing this blog post, because every time I sit down to work on it, one or more of my pets instantaneously erupts into having some urgent problem that cannot be ignored.  A dog gets the squirts or lapses into a diabetic coma.  A horse gets caught in a railing, gets kicked in the face, or ingests a scorpion.  I honestly can't even put two thoughts together most days because I'm running around trying to put out figurative spot fires.

After being habitually interrupted by more important things, I find myself feeling bitter.  Why can't people, animals and tragedies interrupt me when I'm doing something that doesn't matter?  Writing matters, doesn't it?  Then after the umpteenth bizarre interruption, paranoia sets in.  Some deity is trying to stop this book from being written!  What else could it be?

Then my reassuring self cuts in and tells me I will have plenty of time to write in the future.  I just need to let this latest round of hassles to blow through.  And here we are another year older and I am no closer to completing my book.  I have managed to help a few other people complete and sell their books, though.  So, I haven't been totally out of the publishing loop.  I guess books and babies will come when they are ready, and mine prefers to remain in the womb for now.  I think this one has had something like a 20-year gestation period.  Can anyone spare some Oxytocin?  I'm feeling a bit bloated.