About Walls

This has been the slowest most frustrating summer–ever. Each day feels far too long and yet nothing really gets done. Things that do manage to get done don’t stay done for long. Don’t get me started on how I feel about the laundry or the wicked carnival ride of perpetual feeding and kitchen cleaning. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

When it feels hard to even get the basics done, it puts long scope projects in a particularly difficult category. They are always there, but since they aren’t immediately rewarding to work on it’s just so easy to let days and weeks slide past while other more urgent tasks fill up the space.

This challenge gets even worse when you’ve run up against a mental wall. Something is broken in the project and no progress can be made until it is fixed. Now, not only is the work not rewarding, but it’s downright frustrating. Add that to being stressed out about how to handle all the everything that 2020 is shaping up to be and guess what’s not being worked on even more. Yep, that long scope project.

This is where the time problem sets in. The reason these projects take a long time is that there is a heck ton of work that needs to be done, not all of it consisting of getting the actual words of the story onto the page. Needing two months to do a project and then putting it aside for a week here and there means the deadline is going to smack you straight in the forehead as it whizzes by.

And this is where I’m stuck. I hit a wall with a project I was terribly excited about at the beginning of the summer. The problem? I realized I didn’t know what the story was actually about. Without this critical marker, the prose had started to wander into uncharted territory on its own. I’ve done this mistake before. It means lots of painful rewriting later should it get out of hand. Which in turn takes longer, which means that deadline is going to be even harder to meet.

The good thing about walls is that they are only a barrier if you let them stay. This particular wall isn’t terribly large or even daunting, it’s just there being all wall like and stubborn. I know what needs to be done to fix the story problem and it’s not even all that hard. I’m ready to knock a great big hole in this wall, just as soon as I find the last box of Girl Scout cookies hiding in the bottom of my freezer. And finish the laundry. And perhaps weed the garden.

Gah! Okay. Should the wall still be there by the time I check in next week, send in reinforcements.

And ice cream.


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