Writing ADD or, Melissa's complete lack of focus

normal_tech_typewriterkeys This month for NaNo, I intended to branch out, to write short stories in different voices, experimenting with tense, POV, stream of consciousness. I was going to rock it! What have I done?

Nothing.

Granted, writing 30 different stories in 30 days was a ridiculous goal, even for me who loves ridiculous, barely achievable goals. I should have known better since these days, I can’t even finish a blog post.

I’m forcing myself to finish this post instead of vacuuming the stairs. That’s how bad it has gotten. I’d rather vacuum dog hair off the stairs than write.

I had my version of a panic attack about this last night before I went to bed. What if I’m done? What if I have no more good ideas? What if I can’t ever start or finish another book? I almost got up right then to go write. Instead, I rolled over and went to sleep. See, my version of a panic attack is thinking about it, worrying a little, deciding I can think about it tomorrow, then sleeping.

Now, here I am, barely restraining myself from vacuuming.

I hate housework.

Housework over writing has got to be rock bottom.

When my husband asked me what was on my agenda today (isn’t he sweet to pretend I have anything resembling a professional agenda? I’m still in my pajamas) the first thing I said was, “the floors.” Then I realized how pathetic that sounded (though not as bad as yesterday when my big accomplishments were “cleaning the ovens and polishing the stainless steel"), I said, “A new story. I have to settle on one. I need a single focus, something I can…”

“Obsess over?”

“Exactly!”

He knows me so well. And, he still loves me. He's a keeper for sure.

So, today, while I’m vacuuming the dog hair off the stairs, I’m going to focus on the first line of my new story. I’m going to hone it in my mind until it is polished to a bright shine. It has to be good enough to inspire me to write the second line, then the third, then the fourth. I think if I can get to the fourth line, I’ll be on my way. But first, the opening line. Maybe,

Vacuuming dog hair off the stairs always settled Melissa’s nerves.