Time off for bad behaviour
Two weeks without a word commited to paper. Well, I have allowed myself the luxury of this blog. Otherwise, it’s the pauper’s equivalent of lounging by the pool with a fruit cocktail and a paperback, enjoying a brief hiatus from the frontline.
Alas, these soujourns are not all they’re cracked up to be. Already I’m suffering. The novel that has consumed the better part of two years lies festering in a drawer. The first draft of a screenplay I’ve written is also put away, awaiting rewrite sometime in the New Year. Two weeks off at the end of the year was intended as a well-earned break to recharge batteries. But this? …
To counteract the boredom, I’ve been reading. The trouble is this. When I start a book, I have to finish it, regardless of the content. Six hundred pages of chick-lit, read three chapters at a time in a lukewarm bath, is a trial in itself. My intolerance of others tends to surface quite prominantly during these marathons. Why, you may ask, would I put myself through such an unecessary torment?
My fear is simple. If I don’t stick it out to the end. If I don’t struggle through every convoluted plotline and hackneyed snatch of dialogue, I might one day lose the tenacity to finish my own work. Then the game would be up. All future ideas would be jettisoned. The characters I’ve carried for so long in my head would never get to utter their immortal lines.
And so I look forward to January 1st when, bloated from over indulgence and driven half insane from inactivity, I’ll stumble over to the laptop and begin again. Will the muse have left me? Will I be confonted with the mind-numbing humiliation of a blank page, lodged in the mind’s eye for grim perpetuity? I hope not. The experience from recent years reassures me that I am, in fact, doing the right thing. Rest is good for the soul. Beneficial.
In the meantime, I’ll turn my restless mind to other things. Disappointing paperbacks. Shoddy workmen, masquerading as professionals (more on that later). The onerous TV guide. And the best distraction of all, bar one … food!