04 March 2009

Outside the Lines

I just spent an hour punching out what I hope will become my next Curator article. I'm taking more of a personal essay approach this go around and hope what I've written will evolve into something interesting. The other day I asked Adam for ideas on what I should write about, lamenting that I'm so into pregnancy and babies that my usually diversified interests are few and far between. He said I should write about being pregnant, but I'm just not sure about that yet. Maybe next month, right before the baby is born.

I think I've got a hold of a decent idea. I just have to let it marinate a bit and keep writing until I get all my thoughts out. Usually when I write, I am as meticulous as possible -- the writer's version of coloring inside the lines. This time, I'm getting out a giant paintbrush and making a bit of a mess. I have faith I'll be able to clean it up later, or at least rewrite it in an organized fashion. It's an experiment. Of course, one way or another, you'll see the results on March 27.

After reading Jenni's plan to thwart procrastination, I felt like it is appropriate that I get mine under control. Particularly when it comes to writing. I don't know why, but I'm scared of sitting down to write and finding I have nothing to say. This is part of why I don't blog every day -- I'm afraid I don't really have anything to say, or that what I do have to say is terribly uninteresting. But, oddly enough, once I can actually get myself to start writing, things usually come smoothly and easily. It's getting to that point that's the problem.

In addition to procrastination, I have a perfectionism problem. If it's not going to be right the first time, I don't want to do it. That's why I used to buy notebooks, excited about all the possibilities and what I might write, and never actually write in them. I wanted them to stay pristine and didn't want to tarnish them with misspelled or crossed out words. In college, I told a friend about this and asked her if she ever worries about these things. She looked at me like I had a third eye. And I still struggle with it, having just bought my first moleskin notebook. I've had it a month and have only written on three pages.

When it comes to writing, I'd like to say that I do it every day. (And I do for my job, but that doesn't count. Writing about mergers and updates to building projects doesn't really equate here.) But I don't. I used to, and it was like breathing, something I had to do or I might die. Somewhere along the way, I lost the drive. But I didn't lose the ability. I need to figure out a way to incorporate it back into my daily routine. Honestly, I hope the birth of my child bears new things in my life as well, like a resurrection of creativity and inspiration. For now, I'll do what I can with a giant paintbrush.

1 comment:

jenni said...

Lindsay, I relate to a lot of this. I'm reserved/shy by nature, even in my notebooks. But I recently have been scribbling all kinds of messy thoughts/quotes in a journal. It helps the brain, so be encouraged. Also, I've heard that giving birth is a very creative act, so I can't wait to see what your baby inspires! :)