Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Wrapping up loose ends

Twice last week, I fell asleep at the dinner table. But several times last week, you could find me parked at the computer, furiously typing away as I try to wrap up a bunch of projects nearing completion. I want to start the new year fresh, with new novels, new books and new articles. I also want to spend my upcoming visit with family for Christmas relaxed and cheerful, without worrying about email.

It’s a big thing to ask of myself but hopefully it gets done. I sure miss talking with my friends, though. I miss going for my walks, keeping my apartment clean (well, it’s DECENT!), chatting online, reading non-review books and watching my favorite shows. Still, ask me to choose between wrapping up projects by year’s end or putting EVERYTHING back on the “when I get to it” schedule, and which do you think I will choose?

Kinda makes me wonder the REAL reason I might be doing this. My first opinion is that I am trying to get these books/articles/reviews DONE before the year is out in order to tackle the new year with new projects. But maybe there is some sense of urgency in finishing up? Maybe, in some small way, I feel like I gotta end this year as a WRITER with something to show for it. I’m not really crazy about being fanatical about trying to get my work done, but maybe it’s not so much as being fanatical as it is being dedicated. I WANT to see these projects completed! I WANT to meet deadlines and send out proposals.

This obsession with writing work reminds me of some time ago, when I worked as a freelance writer. Every day, like clockwork, I’d be on the computer from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., pitching articles to magazines, hunting down new markets, reading magazine-related and freelancing-related articles, chasing down sources, networking with other writers and editors and spending hours studying issues of magazines I wanted to break into. Now THAT was fanatical! And I wasn’t all that crazy about that lifestyle, either. I was under a lot of stress, fazed by rejections and practically “chained” to my computer every. Single. Day.

Well, I’m not all that crazy about being chained to the computer at any time, under any circumstance. Still, that sense of urgency pulls at me, reminding me that only 10 days are left in the year to finish those books, turn in those articles and write up reviews. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. And if I’m not reading, I’m sitting at the dinner table, dozing off while revisions and ideas for that next paragraph or chapter dance away in my mind.