Friday, March 25, 2005

Concrete vs. Abstract

I've been stripping wallpaper this morning. Great, ugly strips of grey, red, and white herringbone paper. I couldn't stand it any more. The previous owners of our hundred-year-old terraced cottage had thought it suitable for a young boy's room. Since I've commandeered the room for my office, it has been driving me nuts. Once you start something like this, it's like picking at a broken nail. Until the job's done, you have to keep fiddling with it. I managed to get the walls down to plaster. I can live with it until the weekend's passed before I move on to the next stage.

Anything to avoid writing. Ironing, washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom. What is it about concrete tasks that makes it easier to complete them? Once I've started, I've got to keep going. Oh, I can take a break, but since the job is visibly not finished, I feel compelled to return to it until it is.

I have scores of stories, novels which I've started. Good ideas, too. Why can't I just get on with it and work on just one? I'm a bit like the dog with a bone in his mouth, looking at his reflection in the river. The one that's out of reach looks more appealing and I drop the bone...

I'll try gnawing a bit today...

1 comment:

Michael J. Fitzgerald said...

Marcia:

So, I'm not the only one avoiding the inevitable and insatiable keyboard...

Get those walls done and get back at the writing. (Listen to me... responding to your blog instead of writing pithy prose myself...)

michael