I'm about finished writing a book. Who isn't? I know.
Actually, I'm almost finished with the book proposal. I've done the whole thing completely backwards: writing the book, then the proposal. This means I've been working on the thing three times as long as necessary (That's because I wrote the book, then rewrote the whole thing, then started on the book proposal. If I wrote the proposal first, I could have sent it to a publisher, and if it sold, I would then write and rewrite the book). Though, I guess I'm not working on the book right now, am I? Should be.
I like putting words on paper. On NPR just now I heard an interview with 17 year old Amanda Gotera who writes "to know myself better." I agree, this is a good motivation to write. The problem with me is not a lack of motivation, it's that I have so much difficulty in putting the right words on the right paper. I should work on the proposal, but instead I update the blog. Did I start the blog to give myself an excuse to put off finishing the book? To give myself another blank piece of virtual paper that's not to be filled with more of the proposal? Ah, what depth of procrastination lurks in the heart of humankind.
It's possible to know yourself better by writing just about anything. Miss Gotera, who won this years Scholastic Publishing Co. writing award, writes poetry. She read an emotionally powerful poem in the interview. Here's the thing, though. Once you begin writing you make a choice. You put words down there on the page and commit yourself in some way. Sure, you can delete them or throw out the page and regain your freedom, but the more words you add, the more you constrain yourself. The more words you add, the less likely you are to throw it away, too. By the time you've written 150 pages or so, you'd better be going in some kind of direction. At that point finishing the project becomes, well, a project. Work is required (in physics, work is defined as force through a distance, force in a certain direction) to get to the end. The closer you are to that end, the harder it is to keep going.
So maybe when you're close to the end, you (I) start looking for excuses to write other things, thus learning some things about yourself (myself): I have a hard time finishing projects, I don't like the idea of work all that much, and blank pieces of paper get me excited.
I wonder what I'll have for lunch?