A couple of weeks ago I had a writing breakthrough and it’s all because of a magic pumpkin. This is its story.
(By “magic”, I mean merely special by dint of being used in service of solving a non-pumpkin problem. It wasn’t really magic. Magic isn’t real.)
I had been working on cobbling together the first real draft of a novel I’ve been fighting with on and off for about five years. I’ve descibed it before as wrestling with a kraken – as soon as I got a grip on one part of it, another would rear up out of the vast depths to smack me upside the head. It was, needless to say, a procrastinator’s dream.
I’d been diligently hacking away at the tentacles for a few weeks; forcing myself to face the beast each day, even if it were only for a few minutes. I was getting somewhere, but not fast. The end was not in sight.
Then one day, on a completely unrelated mission, I bought a big pumpkin. I like pumpkin a lot, particularly in baking, and here in New Zealand they don’t sell pureed pumpkin in a can like they do in North America. They sell actual pumpkins. So, hankering for pumpkin spice goodness (and having promised my friend a pumpkin birthday cake), I had to chop and cook and puree this bad boy.
Now, I like to cook and baking is okay, but I hate food prep. Chopping vegetables is boring, annoying work and trying to get into a pumpkin isn’t torture but it sure does suck. But here I was. This pumpkin wasn’t going to chop itself into pieces. Whatcha gonna do?
So there I was, staring at this pumpkin, and it’s just sitting there like a gourd. I did not want to chop up this pumpkin. In fact, I wanted specifically to not chop up this pumpkin. No problem. I’m a good procrastinator. So I just openend up that file with the kraken in it, which looked a hell of a lot better compared to this pumpkin. And a hour later that kraken was nothing more than calamari fixins.
By then I was so high on achievement that dealing with the pumpkin seemed like no big deal, either. And the cake that it turned into was awesome.
So take that pumpkin-krakens.