Friday, August 31, 2007

No more foolin' around

Well, my master's degree semester starts up again next week, and very soon I'll have to be producing written pages for submission faster than my son can produce those mounds of sand that appear on our area rug every time he enters the house and removes his shoes. (He's really productive in this pursuit. I think I found a small sandworm the other day. We seem to be building our very own Arrakis.)

Which shouldn't be a problem, really. Except that, this being my second year, things need to be really pulling together now. We're past the planning phase. The honeymoon is over. Write write write.

See, the writing is not a problem -- I love writing, which is good, or I would not only have made a seriously wrong career choice, I'd now be several thousand dollars in debt training for said wrongheaded career. But maybe the honeymoon/romance analogy is not all that absurd. You know how, in the beginning of a relationship, everything is great? How the other person looks at you, that little tilt of the head, and laughs (endearingly, of course) at the most inane of things? Or how planning -- where you'll go that night, what movie to watch, how your wedding will look, what excuse to use on that annoying couple when they suggest a double date, how to cover when said excuse falls apart, how you'll both be better at sticking to the story next time, any planning -- is fun?

But you know how, eventually, it's not exciting and it's not planning anymore because all of these things are foregone? The same couple is still calling even though you've been working-that-weekend for two years now. Your partner is tilting his head again. And if he laughs at the damn Geico cavemen again, you just might have to shoot the television.

That's how planning a project seems to me. And right now, I'm feeling pretty post-honeymoon about the whole enterprise. I love starting projects. I love envisioning the project, exploring new avenues, expanding potential, making new contacts, writing snippets to be tied together later. But I seem to have this pathological inability to focus on one thing for longer than five minutes, which makes a two-year project something of a challenge. I am the absolute worst follow-througher in the universe, so a great many of the issues that were knocking around at the start of my project are still knocking around. And while the topic never ceases to excite me to the point of breathless verbosity, I'm pretty darn tired of those things. And they paralyze me. I need focus. I need devoted, daily, constant attention to the things I don't want to address, or they will drown me and my awesome project with me.

So I have hammered out a write-daily-unless-you-are-deceased ultimatum for myself, and have told my husband and son that I need to stick to a schedule. I believe in my project, and I believe in myself, so I guess it's a matter of not letting the fact I have the attention span of a goldfish get in the way. Hey, goldfish are actually pretty cool. Did you know they can grow up to... Uh. Anyway. Attention. Right. I can care deeply, passionately, all-encompassingly about something, but unless it's my son (who is impervious to my uber-ADD, which I can only guess means I have an even stronger case of motherhood), I seem distracted by the tiniest, most irrelevant little ... Oooh! Shiny!