The thing about being a reclusive artist is there's not really anyone around to keep me accountable for how I spend my time. Not only am I the writer, the painter, the poet, or whoever else I feel like being, I'm also the person telling me to keep going. Being prolific has much more to do with the ability to act on one's creative impulses versus just having them. It requires discipline and focus, and while I often have both in spades, there are times when I just don't feel like working on what I'm supposed to be working on. My head is already in what's next, not what's necessary for right now.
I'm itching to write a new novel, not work on something I've read through a hundred times. The most difficult part of it, mentally, is that I'm preparing a piece of my art to hand over to the world. So not only am I pouring my heart and soul into something, it's all for the benefit of someone else (okay, maybe I'm indulging my perfectionism just a little bit, too). The beauty of that isn't lost on me, but still, writing is work whether you enjoy the process or not.
When I consider how much of my heart I've already put into these books, I really don't have that much more work ahead of me. But until I'm finished, how do I stay focused? Here's a little look into what it's like to inhabit my particular mind:
The story's just about to get really good, Michelle—you know that. You have to hang in there. You have to keep going. If you can get this done, you can write anything you want. You can wash your hands of it and take a break and live in some other world for a while. But you have to finish this first. Giving up now is not an option. You will sit down, you will concentrate, you will read out loud until your throat burns, and you will just fucking finish it. And then you will let it go...
This print sits in my art studio, begging me to stay focused. Visual aids never hurt when you are your own biggest cheerleader.
(Print: NINJ & NINJ, Frame: Hobby Lobby)