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A Novel Idea

Don’t think I’ve forgotten about eating frogs. I haven’t. Even though I’m stalled on chapter one of Eat that Frog, I still intend to DO SOMETHING about being a lifetime procrastinator. I feel the need to get a handle on this bad habit now more than ever.

Half-Finished Novel

Which brings to mind Ed, the TV series about a bowling alley lawyer starring Tom Cavanagh (Ed Stevens) and Julie Bowen (Carol Vessey). In “The Stars Align,” the first episode of season 2, the principal, Dennis Martino (John Slattery of Mad Men fame) does something Carol, the English teach doesn’t agree with. She storms into his office to give the principal a piece of her mind. In reply, Dennis, in a somewhat lengthy speech proceeds to capsulize Carol and her life.

When Dennis Martino says, “English teacher…so there’s probably a really bad, half finished novel in her nightstand drawer, right next to her journal where she jots down platitudes about how hard her life is and how no one really understands her,” I could relate…REALLY RELATE. The episode aired (according to IMDB) on Oct. 10, 2001, and ten years later still remember it.

Not an English Teacher

While I’m not an English teacher and the hard copy of what has already been written of my novel resides in a binder on a shelf of one of my bookcases, the rest is pretty accurate. My novel idea has been in my head since 1992. It actually started its life as a short story, but I soon realized I had too much to say for it not to be something longer.

I wrote the first 25 pages in about a month, but that was as good as it got. Years later the page count is now 56. I don’t know why one of the things I want to accomplish most in my life is such a struggle. I’m aware of all the of major reasons a writer doesn’t finish what he or she started…fear of success, inertia, victim of writer’s block (in my case it’s probably writer’s amnesia by now).

Life is Like That

So, I’m making my “really bad, half-finished novel” one of my eating frogs projects. For one week, starting tomorrow, my goal is to work on my novel one hour each day.

And if any of you creative people out there have tips for effective ways to consistently meet short term goals, please feel free to share…

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