A Meditation on Procrastination

Perhaps I should’ve called this “Meditation while Procrastinating,” because I am having a hard time settling in to write down the words.

Or maybe I should have called it, “Procrastinating about Meditating,” because I am having a hard time even starting to think.

But, by thinking about how I am thinking and then writing about how I am writing, I have mostly stopped procrastinating, and the words are landing on paper… or, rather, they are being typed into the word processor.

The ideas are beginning to take shape.

Or, they would if my computer was kinder to arthritic fingers. Three typos so far as well as one new window opened accidentally as I sneexed… make that four typos. The correct word is “sneezed.”

But the harder it becomes to write something due to health problems, the more important it is to get it written. And the more I struggle with it, the better and more poignant the writing becomes.

I recently watched a YouTube video in which a screenwriting “expert” was saying that main characters in a work of fiction have a wound that they have to heal or overcome… or fail to overcome to make the story worth writing.

He also suggested that the wound has to reflect the author’s own reason for telling stories… the author’s own wounds.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. But it is also TRUE.

My most critical wound, the trauma I’ve taken a lifetime to overcome, was the sexual assault on my ten-year-old self. It robbed me of so many important things in my youth and later adulthood. And if I have overcome it, I did so mostly by myself, having kept my terrible secret a complete secret until I was in my thirties.

It is the reason that most of the characters in my stories are searching to overcome the difficulties of feeling loved and loveable, the heartache of dealing with irreplaceable loss and devastating trauma, and the fear of being nakedly honest in front of the judgemental eyes of the world.

I believe in facing the most fearsome things in life without armor.

Hence the reluctance to get started. The hesitation to make myself naked before the reading public, and the inability to even think of some of the most fearsome demons hidden in the land we must meditate on to get into.

Are there demons in the caverns of the mind? How will you know if you never go there to find out?

So, now I have hemmed and hawed and eventually said what I came to say. You are seeing the naked me, even though no picture of my naked body appears here anywhere. It is my inner self I have shown you. The self I have meditated on deeply for many years. And it is only with reluctance that I expose my true self with my deepest thoughts and secrets. If I am going to get writing done… it has to be like this. I don’t struggle with writer’s block, whatever that is. Rather, it is the fear of the hidden monsters of self that force me to endlessly delay getting started on the archeological dig that is writing an essay like this.

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