Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Intentions

It was fully my intention to blog yesterday, but as my father always said "intentions are for shit". (He was a doer, not an intender.) So, needless to say, my post didn't get written.

For the past month, I have been intending to write - and we all know how that's worked out so far. I sit on the couch during the day, thinking about writing. I tell myself "tonight will be the night", but when the night rolls around, the computer sits here humming to itself while all my good intentions go to hell.

As someone once put it: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.*

It's like the blanket I intended to make for myself once I finished the x-mas present blankets for my mother and mother-in-law. The first strip has been half-finished since the beginning of December. It's sitting in a grocery bag next to my spot on the couch. My crochet hook lays on the table above it.

Yesterday, despite the useless intentions which never seem to get me anywhere, I did something. I got back to crocheting for one. And for another, I took out my handy-dandy 5-subject college-ruled notebook and I worked.

Last week I got an idea for a new story. It wasn't much. Just a kernel of an idea really. A 'what would happen if the world was this way'. I didn't have a plot. I certainly didn't have characters. I just had a glimmer of what I wanted to explore. Well, last night I took the kernel and brain stormed how to make it into a real story. I wrote pages of questions for myself and answers that were, more often than not, lame as hell. I wrote until I thought maybe I had the beginnings of being on the right path toward having a plot and characters and scene. Then I went to bed.

Intending to sleep of course.

Heh. My brain had better ideas. Much better ideas as it turned out. I had a main character. I knew where I wanted to start and what the general plot would be (at least for the beginning). So, I dragged my butt out of bed about fifteen minutes into it, and walked back out to my notebook. It only took me a few minutes to write it all down, and then instead of intending to sleep, I really did.

This morning my notebook is still sitting in the middle of the couch where I left it. It's ready for me to read over what I created last night (because instead of intending to remember it all in the morning, I got up and saved my thoughts onto paper). I'm ready to get back to work again.

Now I don't mean to say that intending to do something is never a good thing. Intentions can be fine if they're followed up with actions. Otherwise, they are, as my father put it, for shit.

What are you intending to do today, and what are the chances those intentions will be accomplished? Personally, I intend to write tonight - even if it's just me and my notebook hashing out the guts of my new story.

*Of course, in Michigan, the road to Hell is paved with asphalt.

3 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Jasfoup dealt with this yesterday. It isn't. It's dressed stone in a herringbone pattern.
http://jasfoup.blogspot.com/2009/01/plastic-faith.html

Kristen Painter said...

I intend to write, but I have a crit meeting and a doctor's appt. so how much I get done remains to be seen. I also have to work out today.

liz fenwick said...

Writing for me begins next week so I am off the hook but I have to confess I am busting with with so much after a break of three weeks.

Keep up the good work!