Now that Alonzo is back in school I am back to trying to write everyday. Writing has long been a dream of mine. I read more than anyone I know with the possible exception of my mom, so writing seems a natural extension of that love. I haven't always loved writing. I can remember as a young child making up stories, writing them down, and being so proud. Then around junior high some teacher with an over fondness of red ink convinced me I was a terrible writer. It was only when I was teaching and took some inservices about how to teach writing, that I rediscovered that I actually LIKE writing, quite a lot as a matter of fact. Whether I am any good at it remains to be seen, but I am going to give it a try.
We have taken Dakota's old room and transformed it into an office. It has my favorite rug, a simple writing desk with no drawers for me to clutter up and a comfy, if incredibly ugly, Drexel Horrible arm chair to curl up in when I need to be someplace other than the desk. It even has bookshelves for lots of books and my leather storage ottoman containing a couple of soft blankets for when I curl up in the chair. It is a really nice place to work.
There is only one problem. Well two really, but we will deal with them one at a time. The first problem is I seem to have to suddenly developed ADHD. Is there such a thing as adult onset ADHD? I wonder because I seem categorically unable to sit and focus on one thing for more than a few minutes. I am constantly jumping up to go investigate some noise, to take care of some bit of housework, or get a snack, or get a drink, or get a sweater, or go to the toilet, or.....in short I am acting a lot my 5th grader when it is time to do homework. I didn't do this in college, or when I was teaching, so now that I have a chance to follow my dreams why am I sabotaging myself?
Is this sudden onset of inattention due to the brain-draining effects of having four children? It is a common lament among parents, especially those with more than one child, that the childrearing destroys brain cells rendering formerly well educated, erudite women capable of speaking only in Dr. Seuss rhymes and unable to remember anything of importance for more than 30 seconds.
Or am I instead suffering from the multitasking effects of the digital age? I am as guilty as anyone else of having my laptop in my lap most nights as I sit in front of the TV, half watching some show while I surf the net, answer e-mails, and checking in on Facebook. Perhaps I am merely so in the habit of doing twenty things at once, even during my leisure time, that I no longer remember how to sit and focus on one thing. Whatever the issue is I need to get over it, and quickly.
The other problem isn't really a problem, in fact I think it may eventually become part of the solution. You see I went and signed up for a online writing course. Not a college course, it's more of a workshop really - only one month long, taught by a published author, sponsored by one of the regional chapters of Romance Writers of America (RWA). The trouble is last night I received my first official writing assignment and every time I look at it I break out in a cold sweat. The feeling is strangely reminiscent of the speech class I took in college. The thought of actually letting someone else read my writing makes me want to hurl.
And yes, I totally get that I have been writing all sorts of nonsense here on Cyberbones for a number of years now and lots of people have read it. I know they have because they have commented. I even have 61 people who are fond enough of my writing to declare themselves public followers. All of that is irrelevant. I can write here because I'm not asking you tell me if my writing is any good. I'm not asking for you to grade my work, or check my grammar, even though I know at least one person who reads and occasionally comments is a copy editor. Please don't tell me if I am abusing the humble comma. No wait do tell me, I need to know. No, no I don't! Let me live in ignorance. If I ever manage to write something that I think is good enough to pursue publication then I will worry about things like punctuation. Until then I just need to find the confidence to sit down and write every day. Hopefully this class will give me push in the right direction, assuming of course that I manage to sit still long enough to get some thing written and submitted to the instructor.
In the course of writing this one blog post I have folded two loads of laundry, watched a movie (Letters to Juliet - I LOVE Chick Flicks!), answered the phone three times, made a sandwich, braided my hair, and swept the floor. I think I have a problem.