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I have to admit that I’m starting to feel a bit like Scarlett Johansson in that scene from her new film, “Lucy”…you know, the one where she’s in the airplane bathroom watching in horror as her face and body start to disintegrate into tiny particles that drift away from her. And she tries to literally pull herself back together and keep herself in once piece. And…

Oh, some of you haven’t seen it?

I see. Let me put it this way, then…

I feel like I’m being pulled in a dozen different directions…some mundane, some wonderful…none particularly easy, all necessary. There’s work (the doing of, as well as the trying to escape from) and home life (bills, house projects, relationships), then there’s my writing (new ideas vying with revisions, short stories up against novels) and trying to live like a writer (going to readings, keeping up on correspondence, studying the market) and, of course, my daily blog. Today I tried to get things done, not accomplishing as much as I would’ve liked, seeing myself scattered. Today I recognized this now seems to be more of a state of being for me rather than an occasional occurrence. Today this became unbearable.

Since some of you haven’t yet seen “Lucy,” I can’t tell you how Scarlett solves her predicament (suffice to say it’s not really an option for me). But I can tell you what I’m going to do.

First, I’m going to just breathe. That may sound silly to some, but I realize how often I don’t do this simple, very necessary thing. So I’m going to take some deep breaths, ease my shoulders down from my ears, get some oxygen in my blood, slow down time a bit. Then, I’m going to come up with a schedule. I often regard schedules as mean, little dictators that take all the fun out of life. But, if I’m going to be a real writer, who must balance all the demands placed on her time and still hold herself together, in one piece, I need to find a dictator I can live with, maybe even come to like.

Today I disintegrated in an airplane bathroom. Tomorrow is the next scene…and if I’m anything like Scarlett, I’ll take control of the situation.

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