Sometimes I wonder if the songs that I create in my head will be heard by anyone else but me. I often wake up to a new melody and I have to get it out somewhere, but alas I do not play the guitar as greatly as I imagine I can. I can pick things out, but by the time I finish picking, I have forgotten what I started with. Or it sounds completely different and the original is lost in the mix.
Perhaps I could try to be a rapper instead. Or a slam poet. I want people to stand around while I recite nonsensical syllables and clap when I’m finished. Of course, they don’t clap right when I’m finished, because they won’t actually be sure if I’m finished until it starts to feel awkward and I’ve been staring at the ground way too long and then one brave soul strikes out in front of the rest and just claps once, starting a chain reaction of applause that will swell and fill the hall or lakeside park.
What about all the cool story ideas I have when I’m sitting all by myself. My novel has morphed and changed a lot in my head lately, but none of it has made it to print. The first draft has, and it has been waiting patiently to be removed from my backpack for the first round of revisions. But good lord in heaven, how do you even begin to edit a friggin novel? When I picture George R. R. Martin doing it, he only writes a little at a time and then goes back and edits the crap out of it until it is finished. Then he writes the next part. I don’t know why I picture that. At no point have I heard him describe his writing process as such, but I think even he would be intimidated by the the task that my novel presents. It’s just a huge hunk of paper that needs an indeterminate amount of changes. I could start at the beginning . . . but then there’s the part after that I have to deal with. And then there’s more after that.
In my mind there is a time when all of this is finished. For some reason I can picture a future where all the tasks I wish to complete are completed and I can move on to what is next on the list.
Oh good lord! What comes after that!?
The bigger problem here, one that seems to be the most prominent thought on my mind as of late, is when do I start doing things instead of waiting to do things? When do I get to the point where I am not concerned with outcomes as I am with the task itself. I’m not saying I shouldn’t be interested in end products, but it seems that I am in the habit of looking at the potential timeline of my life and assigning a rigid order to it all. I’ve been saying “first this, then that” and “once I have that finished then this will happen”. The more I hear that voice in my head, though, the more I want to get rid of it and start making things happen in the present. The future as it stands will always be there. I know this because I’ve been staring at it like an impatient cook watching the pot on the stove. I’ve been staring at it waiting for it to arrive, but the present is the only thing I will ever have.
I’m getting pretty deep here, but the sum of my point is that I want to change the way I look at the world. I am using my writing habits, or rather procrastination habit, as an example of a bigger picture I’m looking into.