Every day, it’s the same thing. I sit at my computer. I open the word file that has steadily hovered at 360KBs for the past 3 months. And then, I stare at the screen. For a really…long…time. Sure, I scroll through the scenes and read through the comments and play a round of spell check, but it still falls under the category of “staring”. And nothing makes me feel more LESS THAN than staring at a computer screen all afternoon. It is a waste of my time. And I don’t care what all the books say. I don’t care that ole’ what’s-his-face whose been there and done that says that this is part of the process and that every pen will eventually run dry and some days you just have to sit and stare until it comes. THAT IS NOT ME. And I will never be the kind of writer that is OK with that.
So I’m taking a leap of faith. I’m putting my novel on the back burner (which in this case, just means simply bypassing the electronic folder marked Debut Novel, Yo.) I’m going to trust that it’s OK to stop eating Taco Bell every night, so to speak. Taco Bell will always be there. Waiting for me. And I’m going to trust that one day, when I least expect it, I’m going to crave a taco. And a grilled stuffed burrito. And all the fiery Doritos Locos tacos my taste buds can handle. I will sit and feast and it will feel so fucking amazing. I will feel inspired and rejuvenated in my Mexican fast food coma. I will stuff my cheeks with mystery meat drenched in Fire sauce and Pepsi Cola and I’ll give a sample to my husband for him to eat, only to hear him say, “I don’t want to eat it.”
“Please eat it,” I’ll say.
“I don’t feel like eating right now.”
“Please, I really need you to taste this to let me know if it’s good or not.”
“Why can’t someone else try it?”
“BECAUSE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE HERE AND I LOVE TACO BELL AND I NEED YOU TO LOVE TACO BELL SO I CAN BE ASSURED THAT TACO BELL IS GOOD TO SHARE WITH OTHER PEOPLE. NOW EAT THE DAMN TACO!”
To which he’ll take a lukewarm bite and say, “It’s good.”
But until that day comes, I will utilize my talents in other ways. I will not waste time. I’ll revamp my website. I’ll submit poems and short stories and articles. I’ll READ more! I’ll temporarily trade my beloved Taco Bell for Whataburger (my second novel). And I will trust, I will T-R-U-S-T, that this process is a healthy process and that it will work and that one day my novel, my first love—my baby—will be completed and I will be proud of it. I love it too much to treat it like a burden.
So, starting today, no more staring at my favorite unfinished painting. It’s time to put it aside, rinse out my tired brushes, sweep the studio, and set out a fresh blank canvas for tomorrow.