Finishing the Fucker

I’ve been talking about books, about teaching, about my family. Anyone notice I haven’t been talking about writing?

Yeah, that thing that I had great hopes of having a draft of by fall. Months and months ago. I swear I was going to turn a draft to my beta reader in, what was it, July? And I set down to write a note to Beta Reader about setting a schedule, but then I thought maybe I should write it here.

I live near a synagogue, and I can go days and days without driving, walking, or running by it. But as soon as it’s a holiday (that I don’t remember) I pass it. The dog and I walked by on Passover (don’t look at me, don’t look at me, don’t look at me). DP and I drove by a very full parking lot for Yom Kippur (the day of atonement and fasting) on our way to luscious bacon-filled breakfast.

But I’m going to atone here a little bit, or at least confess my sins, or I guess in more Jewish tradition apologize to those I have wronged this past year. In the past few months I have wronged my writing (say that out loud, ha!). Mea culpa. (This is why I’m a bad Jew.) I would like to write at least 15,000 more words to get to the end of lucky draft 13.

Teaching has been kicking my ass, but I’m getting used to it. I delivered a good lecture the other day without powerpoint to keep me focused. I was slightly less prepared than I wanted to be, and it worked anyway. DP’s book has been copyedited. I should be able to fit writing around the edges of my life again. Should I write every day as suggested here? Should I have a weekly word count and finish it as I can? In August I had a pretty good system where I didn’t sit down every day, but every time I sat down to write, I made myself write 1,000 words. (I’d get to 965 and weep into my keyboard, then write 35 more.)

I have never been a religious person (see above). But one of the things I like about the idea of religion is how you keep having to rededicate yourself to it. I like the preacher in Gilead, and his thoughtfulness and struggle to stay on the path. Every year you promise to do better and then you fuck up again. But then you promise again to do better. This is like writing.

How do you crawl back and make up with your writing project?



8 responses to “Finishing the Fucker

  1. My writing project has taken me back no questions asked even though I’ve ignored it for months. One of us is a sucker for punishment – not sure who.

  2. I’m trying this morning—I don’t clock in until 11am, so I’ll be sitting in the library break room with my notes and a legal pad and a pen and two 42-oz bottles of diet Pepsi.

    It won’t be pretty, but it will be written.

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