Change and Excuses


And in response to my whiney rant last night:

“If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses.”

— Bruce Nauman

*     *     *

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

— Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol


Here’s a little cheese…


I am a failure as a writer.  I have yet another crappy first draft of a novel—this time it’s my MFA thesis—and yet I am no closer to finishing a decent draft than I have been in the past 5 or more years since I decided to “get serious” about being a writer.  I attempted Camp and made it 6000 words in which is the NaNo goal tracking equivalent of the 6 hours I spent editing.  In an entire month.  I do have an excuse.  I had a shitty job that left me exhausted and wracked with anxiety so bad that I spent my days sitting in my cubicle waiting to throw up.  Yes, I did finally quit that one around the end of Camp.  Unfortunately, now I’m unemployed and I’ve spent even less time writing since I quit than I did while working—I think…  On top of that, today Facebook has been an outpouring of success from all my other writer friends.  All the kids I started my MFA program with are posting praising end of semester evaluations for all the major work they accomplished this semester while I’ve been busying moving between three different states, starting jobs and quitting them, and watching a lot of TV (on the up side, I have been doing a lot of reading as well, I’ve finished 22 books out of my 30-book goal for the year, but I doubt many, if any, will count towards the 15 I’ll need to read for next semester).  Not to mention that my cousin, whose life I already envy, mentioned in her blog today that she got a book deal.  Apparently she got this a while ago, the news just hadn’t reached me yet.  The post was all about how hard she’s working to make her dream come true.  All the while, here I sit in a house that needs painting on the air mattress I’ve been sleeping on for three months, unable to move any farther in my book because I just don’t know how to fix it and that overwhelms me so much that I would rather sit around and watch TV and play games on Facebook all day than try to deal with the problem.  I have quite a lot of friends who came into grad school in the same place as me: maybe an idea for a book, maybe not, more or less education in writing, but now they are ready to embark on their final semester and finish their novels and walk away with their degrees while I finished my first draft more than five months ago (ahead of most if not all of them) and I have no idea where to go next, so it really doesn’t matter how quickly I got that bit done because slow and steady wins the race and I am far from steady.  Plus I still have to deal with the Long Critical Paper, which really should’ve been finished last semester, and the Teaching Practicum which comes with an equally formidable essay and needs to be finished this coming semester along with the LCP AND I have to get out a decent enough draft of my Thesis that I can finish it in semester 4.

I keep telling myself that even though I know it’s hard, I must continue because this is the only thing really worth doing.  But I don’t know how to do it.