Go back to bed.


What compels some people to take on project after project, follow idea after idea, until surely they will go mad or collapse? Are you someone who takes on a project, finishes it, and then goes to the next thing? Or are you filled with notions, thoughts, and images that distract from one to the next and back again? Why is that?

16 thoughts on “Go back to bed.

  1. I want to be someone who starts and finishes something before going onto the next, but I might have to be someone who starts and goes until it gets jammed, then move onto something else until I can come back to it.

    I wish I knew why. I can’t say definitively it is so, but I can say definitively if it is, I have no idea why.

  2. This is a trick question, right, Marta? Had this been a real emergency, you’d have been directed to an MBA or possibly psychology. Who doesn’t set forth on a writing journey, only to hear the Siren call, teasing with yet newer, more alluring ideas?

    I recall the large table in Ray Bradbury’s basement and the growing number of manual typewriters he was able to buy in second-hand shops as his stories began to sell. He’d slide his chair to a typewriter in which a story was under way, giving it his full attention until thirty minutes elapsed where he wasn’t able to get a word down. He’d promptly wheel over to the next typewriter, where the next story beckoned. With luck, he’d get in the rest of the day on that story, but just in case, there was yet another typewriter and yet another story.

    The mind is an antenna, pulling in ideas and connections, more than enough to fit in the same story. It’s all well and good to focus, to get truly into the emotions and visions of this particular landscape of the moment and, with due dilligence, finish it before being overwhelmed by the new landscape, presenting itself to you like a Florida real estate scam, but it is also well and good to remain open to the process you’ve created in which strange characters with strange gleams in their eyes present themselves to you, wanting to tell you their story, resorting to trickery and chicanery to keep your attention.

    In real life, there’s a stack of books and magazines somewhere in your home, waiting to be read, crying out with the potential for interesting you. Somewhere in your Process an equal stack of images, ideas, and situations, floating about, waiting to be put to use.

    Talk about inner landscape!

  3. At most things, I’m very focused at the beginning but have no follow-through. I’ll work for hours and hours till I’m exhausted, but then once I take a break I don’t go back. With writing, I have much better follow-through. I guess it’s because I’m not always in the mood to clean the closet, but I’m usually in the mood to write.

  4. Yes.


    I start one then finish it. No. I start one then start another and another and sometimes I finish and sometimes I don’t.

    I usually have 60thousand projects going at once and a notebook with ideas for 60thousand more. While painting, I’ll start a blog entry, while blogging I’ll cut out some felt people for the kids, then I’ll write a poem on my bathroom break, then I’ll put muffins in the oven, I’ll finish the painting, post the blog entry, edit some photos, take some new photos, pin up the felt dollies, start a journal entry, ignore the novel, start writing ideas for a new novel, finish a painting, go to facebook, check my email, plan a new project with a friend, make dinner, play with the kids, do some dancing, start a Pandora channel, read a magazine, plan business adjustments, put the kids to bed, build a block house for toy animals, paint a picture, read a book, fall asleep…. and pick it all up again the next morning.

    Hmm no wonder I’m tired.

    My key to finishing projects is to keep them small. Since I only have short periods to concentrate on anyone thing, the smaller the project, the more likely I am to be able to finish them.

  5. Hilarious photo. 🙂

    About the questions, though. I tend to have no more than one “big” project at a time.

    BUT I’m also easily bored and distracted. I may need the answer to a simple question, like (to take a recent example) “Did the front seats in a 1987 Ford Escort recline?” Easy to check online, right? Bad mistake. Before I know it, I’ve blown 30 minutes, 8 bucks (for an ’87 Escort sales brochure on eBay), and untold momentum.

    And I tend to have too many ideas about stuff in general. At least I almost never write these down, or I’d be one of the start-start-start folks.

    1. I finish lots of things. Some things I don’t. But I start whether I’ve finished another or not. Hence the art and the writing and MFA application. And I’m doing Art Every Day this month. Not to mention home projects. And projects with my kiddo. And the Captain Jack pics. And…I’m getting tired. I think I need more sleep. Maybe that should be a project. I’d get more of it done that way.

  6. I believe in doing the right thing right and if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well/i>. Therefore, I have to start a project (which I’m rather fond of doing), follow my detail-oriented little heart, and finish it. Then I walk around with exquisite pride in my work and I make Bowser Oooo and Aahhhh over how clean, organized, or creative my work has been.

    I’ve a sneaky suspicion that my bipolar makes me this way. I don’t know anyone else who makes their projects as complicated as I do; however, I don’t know anyone else who is as prepared for every possible situation as I am. There’s good that comes out of it.

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