Living “As If”
The Green Study will return to posting on March 8th, 2015.
Thank you to the new readers and commenters who arrived at The Green Study through the Freshly Pressed post Time Travel on Facebook. Sit back, lower your expectations and let’s get to know each other. Or not. I’m not good at small talk. Maybe I should just get back to writing.
It might have been the two rice and bean burritos that I ate for breakfast. Or the Netflix bender that lasted a couple of hours, watching “The IT Crowd” – a show I’ve been through at least twice already. Maybe it was the fact that I woke up thinking “I’ll never do anything exciting in my life again” or that I wondered if I was dying because everything ached.
Whatever it was, I was ready to throw in the towel yesterday, prepared to sink into a miserable pool of gluttony and self-pity. But I’ve been here before. I know the ending. I’d be filled with recrimination which would fuel several days of deprivation, punishing exercise and a regimented schedule that usually included some pious volunteering, structured writing times and no burritos.
Over the weekend, I’d resolved to do some winnowing of my book collection, which was starting to overflow in unstable stacks about the study. I ran across Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I’d purchased it in 2012 to get some support during National Novel Writing Month. It still had that new book smell. I flopped in my chair and started flipping through it. At the beginning, the author lists secrets to writing a book in a month.
The first secret was to Work “As If”. In summary, when writing, you should take notes of things that need to be changed, but write from that point forward as if those changes had already been done. This keeps you moving forward without getting hung up on the editing. If your character’s name was supposed to be Luigi and you called him Bob, you wrote him as Luigi from that point forward.
I’ll likely implement that idea while working on my book, but it occurred to me that this might be a technique that would work in other areas. What if I went about the rest of my day as if I were productive and energetic? What if I went about my day as if I’d eaten a nutritious breakfast, spent a couple of hours writing, doing yoga, and getting things done. What if, from that point on, I functioned as if I hadn’t been a sloth?
So, I went to the gym, editing out the doomsayers of feeling good – guilt and self-loathing. I was a tad slothful, but moving. Then I came home, wrote for a couple of hours, cleaned the house, made dinner, did some reading. My deep and erudite thought was “Now THAT is how you pull your day out of the crapper.”
Today I’m going to live as if I’m a writer who needs to get this novel done. That being said, I’m going to do what I often do after a post gets a lot of traffic and I’ve had loads of interaction with humans. I’m taking a break for the next couple of weeks from blogging. It’s an introvert thing. I’ll be back when US Daylight Savings Time screws us out of an hour in the midwest.
Thanks again to the generous readers and commenters. Welcome to the new subscribed readers. It’s lovely to meet you and I look forward to more conversation!
Until I return, I’ve put together a list of posts that I enjoyed writing and that will give you a pretty good idea if you want to keep following along or run away as fast as your fingers will type you: