I am making progress. Last night I went to Borders and there smack on the NEW ARRIVALS table by the front door was a novel by a woman I had been friendly with at Columbia. I did not panic, though I did get a little weird-ish. No, instead of fleeing in tears, I lifted the book, read the jacket, the bio, the acknowledgments -- and then I acknowledged this: she is funny, but her subjects are not quite mine. She writes with humor, but not really with depth. I have never really "gotten" her work, or at least, I didn't at Columbia. And I take comfort in that fact -- that her niche is not mine, so she's not "doing better than me." She works hard and she's talented and she deserves it. And I do, too, dammit, and I need to stop thinking about everyone else's career and focus on mine.
That said, I am doing pretty well with the self-focus. I have carved out 4+ hours of daily work just mine all mine, and after a pani-attack last week I went back to the "start" this week: I read Syd Field, for nice concrete you-can-do-it-ism, and I finally nailed the bulletin boards on my wall, and then I started carding the whole damn thing, SLOWLY, with his advice that the first pass of cards takes about a week, and then you sit with those cards, playing around a little, for SEVERAL WEEKS MORE. So, I have carded ORIENTATION, FALL and WINTER. SPRING is today, and REUNION tomorrow ...
Most importantly, I finally did the thing that for the last several years at least I have been horribly avoiding: reading my old journals. I found so much of use there! Shocking I didn't do it before -- but somewhere I had read "write first, research later" which really I think is a lot of bull. Start carding and researching at the same time is a better way to go. So I have gone that way and I am feeling finally in control of this fucking thing. Only took six years, but there you go.
And speaking of which, in journals from '93 I found notes for a story I finally drafted up last summer, ten years later! It's one of two short stories I'm working on, and having just joined a second Group, I have places to work them both, finally.
My plate is full, and at least for now I'm liking what I eat.
Also, thanks to Syd Field: Blogging is clearly for me a form of resistance. "It's no big thing. Don't put yourself down, feel guilty, or punish yourself. Just acknowledge the resistance--then you move right through to the other side. Just don't pretend it's not happening. It is! Once you deal with your resistance, you are ready to start writing."
So of I go.