Sunday, July 3, 2011

To want, to need, to just do it

I have been coveting a Kindle. I, who have always lusted after the smell and feel of paper pages turning, leading me onward in knowledge, or suspense, or...whatever. But it has occurred to me that electronics have their downsides, too. Can you order a book, used, for a Kindle? And I would miss the particular feel of a book.... Anyway, it's all a moot point because I cannot afford a tricked-out Kindle, I don't need one, and so, my desire ebbs and flows. No necessity usually means, for me, no product. But I do hope my book ends up on one. :)

The book has been a huge struggle lately. I write and I toss out, I delete and switch paragraphs around like cards in a deck. I have a troublesome character who seems to be refusing to enter the pages. I recently noted to a friend that while sitting one's backside in the chair in front of the computer is a necessary discipline, writing from a sense of duty seems to be a losing effort. The drudgery of dutifulness seems to cause my creativity to dry up like water on a hot skillet.

While we write from a desire (indeed, a need) to write, we still have to exercise discipline to keep focus, and keep the page count rising. The difference between discipline and writing out of duty seems to be, for me, like the difference between guiding someone to a focused end versus chasing them there with a broom. Like wanting a Kindle, the desire to write is not enough to get there. On the other hand, how many of us like it when we are MADE to do something--shoved there by outside forces and held with our noses to the grindstones? But if we feel the need intrinsically, discipline is what keeps us moving when we become discouraged or distracted.

The Kindle, I can do without (for now)--but I can't really do without finishing the book. I think I'd regret that forever.

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