Just Breathe

Originally posted Thursday, January 11, 2007:

Have you ever wanted something? Something so bad you could taste it, feel it, touch it, smell it? That’s what I feel like right now, and to my surprise my desire isn’t food related.

It’s a book, actually it’s two books that I want to write. I have the ideas, I’m making the notes, but I’m fighting frustration. I can’t seem to keep up with my ideas for scenes, points, imagry. I’m writing as fast as I can and I still feel snail-slow.

I tried writing quick notes as I typed up the scenes, so that I wouldn’t lose any ideas to miss-fired synapses. But have you ever tried to write shorthand notes while in a hurry? I’m looking back on some of these things and thinking: “Shifter? What the hell did I mean? A shape shifter? Flour shifter? Am I even reading that correctly? Is that ‘shifter’ or ‘shrifter’? Wait…what’s a shrifter? Ohhh…wait that’s the dry-cleaning list: sweater. That’s what it is, sweater.

I wish I could stay up forever. I wish I didn’t get headaches after staring at a computer for 10 hours. I wish, I wish, I wish.

And you know the worst part? These wishes aren’t just borne of excitement, but also of fear. I’m afraid that if I don’t write it all down RIGHT NOW! I’m going to forget, to lose my place, lose my idea.

And so there’s only one thing I can do: slow the hell down. Slow it all down. Believe that the ideas, born in my head, immortalized on paper, will come back. My brain will not fail me, neither will my penmanship. I’m taking it easy.It’s like this experiment they did years back. Does speeding help? Does it get you to your destination faster? So they had two cars drive from Calgary to Regina. One obeyed the speed limit. The other was told: get there as quick as possible.

And what did they find? A 1/2 hour difference in time. The easy car, no wear and tear, whereas there was definite wear and tear on the fast car: tires worn, engine difficulties, brakes need help. And as for the drivers, forget about it. The fast guy was so stressed out, they had to pry him out of the car, his hands were so locked around that wheel. The slow guy? Eh, he was fine. And why wouldn’t he be? He took his time, enjoyed the scenery, obeyed the commands of his stomach and bladder.

I’m determined to enjoy this ride. If it takes an extra month or six months to finish this book, that’s okay. I like scenery.

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