These last several days, I’ve been spending my time painting the innards of our house, and I have to tell you that it’s been a real pain in my behind. It seems to be a neverending process that never ends (oh, yes, the writer in me just exploded with description there!). I have paint in my hair, under my fingernails, on my clothes and on various body parts that don’t normally sport green paint (except on St. Patty’s day). My hand hurts from gripping my little paint container and I think I pulled a tendon standing on my tiptoes. The funny part? Everyone keeps asking me when I’m going to paint the ceiling. Har dee har har. I’m not going to paint the ceiling, people! Okay, I’ll admit there are a few green marks on the clean, white expanse that might have led them to believe I was going to paint the ceiling. But those had nothing to do with the fact that I can’t steer an elephant! That insane implement, that steam roller, just kept on rolling even when I didn’t want it to. Worst of all, at the end of this humbling experience, I have been forced to admit something that I never wanted to admit.
Michelangelo, I ain’t…
Painting is a chore to me, and a senseless one at that. It’s like doing laundry or cooking meals – mind numbing and seemingly futile (just like resistance against the Borg). All right, it isn’t completely the same as these daily/weekly chores. Once you’re done painting, you’re done. Plus you have a lovely result at the end of it all that won’t need to be repeated for several years. When I was painting, though, I didn’t care about any of that because I didn’t believe it. This task felt like something I’d be doing over and over for the rest of my life. The Groundhog Day of chores! It’s hard to believe, but when I first started thinking of painting (I really needed to put to rest the rumor that I was afraid of color), I was going to paint almost the entire house. But I kept chickening out, until there was only one small area left that I was willing to do (or couldn’t talk my way out of since I’d told people I was going to paint). And that small part took me three days to do.
I simply can’t believe people choose to do this for a living.
But then, there are people who can’t believe people actually choose to write for a living. For them, writing is an agonizing process best left to the monkeys. I have never found writing to be agonizing, but I have found it to be hard. Especially when I started out writing novels. It seemed like getting a page down on paper was an Olympic event comparable to water ballet (you may scoff but try doing what they do – you’ll sink like the Titanic). But like every effort, practice does make your task easier. Of course, some of us can practice and practice and never be a Michelangelo. I, for one, fall into that category. I shall never be a Shakespeare.
So why bother doing it at all, you ask? Because I’m a masochist. That’s why.
So here’s my plan. I shall keep on writing and drop the painting. I’ll leave that to the painters of the world. Now, if I could just find a way to drop the cooking and laundry, I’d be all set. Any volunteers? It’s really very fun. Fabulous, exciting, in fact! I’ll even let you do it for free!
Just drop me an email and I’ll be sure to get back to you.