Saturday, May 22, 2010


Valerie Bertinelli is engaged and Kate Gosselin has a new hairstyle.  Okay, I rather like Valerie as an actress so I'm happy for her.  But why do I care?  Why did I click on those links to read further?  I don't buy People magazine and I'm not much of a celeb follower.  So what was going on?


It felt too early to walk this morning, and truly I had no desire to get presentable and get going, so I avoided and had another cup of coffee even thought the clouds were gathering.  And that's when I hit the first link and read the story about Valerie for which I will probably have little memory later.  Now it's raining and the dog is sulking.


I'm beginning a new book and while I used to love beginnings and still do, sometimes there's something intimidating about those first few words.  It's the dreaded blank page - a feeling I never thought to have and now occasionally do.  I suppose it's another evolution of this writing career but one I don't much like.  So that's when I discovered the Kate Gosselin new hairstyle.  I can only say that avoidance had reached an all time high at this point.

Much of my avoidance this morning, missed walk aside, is where I'm at in the writing process.  A story is one-half complete and off to critique and my head is still there but until the story comes back I don't want to go forward.  But to jump from one world to another is a leap I'm avoiding.  So combined with the blank page issue I'm pretty much stalled out.  I've done much cruising of the net this morning avoiding that blank page.  Finally, when even the synopsis, my Achille's Heel, was looking more enticing, I dove in.  And then the magic began.  Once that first sentence is there, the rest just happens.  It comes from some place I can't identify and it just falls onto the page.  Whether it is final copy at this point is irrelevant.  What's important is that the characters are coming forward to introduce themselves.

I imagine that one day, one character will chastise me for the delay and that in itself will be a story.  In the meantime, there's one cure for a new book - ignore the celeb gossip - e-mails and blog follows - and start with a letter.  Any letter.  Can't think of one?  I've always liked t.  It gives you a the or a they or a that or a then or a there or...    Great words for something interesting to follow.


Start with a task - any task, preferably something small.  

How's avoidance working in your life?

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