And that’s been the pattern, work all day and then easily distracted at night. I’ve been struggling to stick to my second shift, but something in the shift has felt daunting. And it’s a shame because I love my story; every minute my imagination takes me to some part of it, allowing me to get lost in it. It’s a great tale and it deserves to be told.
So why the dragging feet? Because it’s not easy to start a book. There’s so much set up; character descriptions, setting, back story, all seamlessly rolled into the plot and point of views. It’s challenging and lately I’ve been fighting “talking head syndrome” or what I refer to as the “Charlie Brown Teacher Effect” where the characters are whont-whont-whonting at each other and I don’t even give a crap what happens. You want to avoid that at all costs, for sure. Fight the whonts! The cure for that is to stay in a perspective—any perspective—and hold on to the meaning of what’s happening. Hold on tenaciously—don’t let the feelings go.
But even then the responsibilities and pressures of everyday life have been an interruption, sucking the time and energy away before I can stop it.
And that is honestly what I’ve been up against. The black hole of distraction, the restlessness and resulting inertia. The unconscious resistance to keeping the derriere in the chair.
I needed some motivation (and a swift kick in the butt). And so I asked, the universe delivered.
The opportunity arose in the form of a contest. For pre-published (this is the term our president of the Maryland Romance Writers, Sharon Buchbinder uses because we aren’t unpublished, it will happen—and I love the creative visualization) authors to submit a scene from their manuscript. A specific scene, the first kiss.
You never realize what form motivation will take, and man, I didn’t see this one coming. The first kiss. That scene in my book has been rolling around my brain for months, I just figured I had to work for it first. That it would be the boon of me doing the legwork of the intro chapters. It’s the carrot I’ve been trotting after, it just seemed to be held so far away.
I hesitated at first and then my critique partner, Sarah stepped in as my voice of reason and cheerleader. Why can’t you write a future scene first? If you’re seeing it so vividly just get it down on paper, then you can connect the pieces later like a patchwork quilt. It may even give you important tidbits of information that are relevant for linking the scenes together.
I can write the first kiss, I thought. And for the first time in weeks I felt this charge of excitement. I get to write the part that we all look forward to, the first contact, and this got me thinking.
What is it about that first touch of intimacy?
To be truthful, I don’t entirely remember my first-first kiss, but I fully remember the important ones. And that’s what the moment is about. It’s the true kiss that we all wait for, and eagerly look forward to. The tingly one, the one that signals that who you’re with is the right match, the emotional and physical risk you should take. That green light to the fulfillment a relationship brings.
That golden moment. I have twelve days and ten pages to write it.
I feel surprisingly animated despite the tight deadline. We’ll see how long that lasts (*guffaw*). I may be on the ledge by Thursday, but I'm ready to jump back into the writing. I think that’s what I’ve needed—high stakes and some incentive.
My couple’s kiss has been a marathon movie playing in my head and maybe that means it's time I shared it.
I can do it, right? Wish me luck and I'll report how it goes!
- SNG :0)