Twenty-Minute Post

This is already a disaster.  I sat down at my MacBook a full five minutes ago, intending to spend twenty minutes just writing, as per Prof. Boice's advice on working in brief, daily sessions, and it took the stupid machine a full three minutes just to boot (what has my son been downloading onto my laptop?!!!).  And then I had the thought that I should check in iTunes for a recording of some of the songs that we have been talking about in my course on Mary, and while those were downloading, it took another two or three minutes for Blogger even to open.  How can I possibly write something effective in only twenty minutes under these conditions?

Okay, now I've had to move so that I am sitting in a chair rather than at the dining room table, but I'm still not settled enough to start writing about what I wanted to say.  See, there seems to be a contradiction in the advice that Prof. Boice gives.  On the one hand, he says, and I do believe him, that we can write more in short sessions over the long term than we ever suspect (vide, if any proof were needed, this blog, which is now, after almost four years, some 777 entries long, which, if you think about it, at an average of two pages each, maybe even three, is something on the order of six or seven books of 250 pages each long).  On the other, he says, "Wait!"  Don't rush to write before you are ready.  Although, again, he also says, "Start before you feel ready."  But I don't see how writing in short, 20-30 minutes sessions can ever feel anything but rushed.

Breathe.  Now it's been ten minutes or thereabouts (I lost track when I was trying to get the MacBeachBall to go away).  And I'm still feeling rushed.  This can't be right.  How do I settle down into writing when I know that I really should be doing something else to get going with the day?  How can 20 minutes ever feel like enough time to get something significant onto the page?   I want this to work.  I'm pretty sure I want this to work.  No, I'm not.  That was the big thought that was clanking around in my head that I sat down to write.  I don't know whether I want to achieve fluency as an academic writer.  Is that really true?  Now that I've written it, what does it mean?  Do I want to be some other kind of writer?  No.  I don't.  I don't want to be a best-selling novelist.  I don't want to be an academic superstar.  I just want to be me.

What on earth does that mean?  I have a suspicion that this is a form of block (a demon, if you will).  As with my diet, now that I understand being thin is simply a matter of counting carbs, I'm still terrified every so often at the thought that it actually might work.  Is this similar?  Am I really that afraid of success?  Yes.  It would seem that I am.

Okay, twenty minutes are up.


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