Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being In The Moment

I've made one New Year's resolution that stuck. I like to imagine that's one more than anyone else in the world. If you can best me, speak up! I'd love to hear about more disciplined people than I can shoot you in your sleep.

I'm serious.

Anyway. What happened was this: I turned forty. And no, I'm not gonna tell how long ago that was. Suffice to say, the resolution I made that year has stuck, and I'm incredibly happy and content because of it.

After FabDame got sick I made another resolution. While not technically a New Year's one, it happened close enough to almost count. I decided that henceforth, I was going to live in the moment. Neither thinking of the past or the future (with the exception of a secure retirement portfolio, so sue me) only the NOW. After all, now is all we have. Truly, it is. As soon as you blink its gone and there's only, guess what? Another now.

I have to say I've been pretty good at it! Was kinda surprised since for the last several years I'd been caught up in the dream of getting and staying published...future living at its best! The dream that might never come! The pot of gold over the rainbow.

But I've lived in The Now for quite a while and have come to love the details you notice while in it--things like the changing light throughout the day, a laugh with an unpleasant stranger, the sound of a dead, skittering leaf, the musty smell of a vintage vacuum cleaner (which I'll expand on in another post), a glass of ice cold water, an elephant bell, a camel bell--any bell. Friendship bracelets given to me by Elizabeth Gilbert. Even the mundane puzzle of engineering a hundred dirty glasses into an undersized dishwasher.

Don't look at me like that! Did you expect me to say raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens? Ya'll know me better than that. But, hey, we could learn alot from that song.

These are the things that make up our lives and if we can't engage with them on some level, we'll never enjoy very much.

So, I've lived in the moment. Problem was, I haven't written a damn thing. Not. A. Damn. Thing. For almost a year. And it pains me to publicly admit that, even though ya'll know I haven't even blogged much. I've been too busy in the moment! The moment, people!

Another reason I heven't written is that the project I'm aching to write is so huge and intimidating I got paralyzed. Not blocked. Paralyzed. Catatonic. Frozen in fear.

But guess what? Tonight I met DIP at our coffee shop for a writing session. Beforehand, I made him painfully aware of my dilemma: I haven't been writing, don't know if I'll ever write again, I need to write, love to write, but have no will, blah blah whine blah blah blah-dee-fucking-blah.

Yet, in one hour I wrote a normal day's word count -- on the huge, honkin' kick-ass scary project I've been avoiding for about two years now.

How did I do this? Hell if I knew. Until I suddenly paused at the keyboard and looked over at DIP. "I'm living in the moment with my characters."

He nodded. "I was just talking about that with my crime writer friends."

I did it by being in the moment. By not thinking about the future, or how many words I had to write, how many plot points to hit, characters to introduce, facts to keep straight, research to do, who to market the story to, if I'd need an agent, if I could even write something this big.

I did it one word at a time. Living in my heroine's moment. How the sun felt, the growing humidity, a silky dog's fur, a fleeting fear, suspicion, lust, worry, disbelief. A toothbrush. A can of Barbasol. Some OCD.

One moment at a time.

That's how all stories get written. How are you gonna write yours?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I haven't written a damn thing. Not. A. Damn. Thing. For almost a year."

You are in good company. Neither have I! ;)

November 28, 2008 12:26 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Charlie, you keep popping up then disappearing. Such a mystery man! Do you still have a blog? For some reason I was blocked from viewing it, so I deleted it from my reader. What's going on with you? Are you loving Texas?

November 28, 2008 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Bev Stephans said...

Good luck on the 'Big Scary Project'! I've missed your regular blogging and your writing.

November 29, 2008 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Ann I ain't the most reliable blogger in the world. lol. I took the blog down for a bit. My company sent me to Australia for 3 months then I got serious with a girl. Third times the charm???

November 29, 2008 3:04 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Hey Bev, it's gonna be a while afore I have another book out. Making some exciting career adjustments here! Stay tuned for more news.

Charlie, congrats on the new relationship. Best of luck! And I'm jealous you got to go to Australia for three months!! Did you get to travel around the whole continent?

December 06, 2008 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did. went to Darwin (where the movie Australia was filmed.) Had a blast!

December 07, 2008 8:56 PM  

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