There are all kinds of great reasons for not writing much lately. Work’s been busy, we lost power for a few days, then we went out of town. Somebody invented the “cronut.” There was bacon in the fridge. I have a toddler.
It’s all bulls!*#t, of course.
Not the part about having a kid, though. That’s true. It’s all true (except the bacon. I wish I had bacon in the fridge). But it’s all still bulls!*#t.
Writing is a lot like sit-ups, I really only feel good about doing it after I’ve done it.
It’d be alright if it was at least consistent, but sometimes I barely have to think about it. Sometimes I’m like Batman against so many unnamed goons – I just start flinging batarangs and when I next look at my watch, Gotham is safe once again.
And it’s not like I have a shortage of material. It’s not writer’s block. Not really. Not so much as it is that when I’m confronted with a choice between sitting down to write and, say, staring silently at my perfectly shaped ankles, it’s my ankles that are always winning out.
I’m finding that one of the hardest things about writing is writing.
In a way, it’s like parenting as well. In the first few months, there’s no choice – if you carve out any time you have to spend it sleeping or eating or else you’ll collapse. Eventually the pressure lets up, but the tendency to chose basic needs over anything else stays fixed in habit. Lamentations flow about lost social lives and stain-free clothing but as babies grow a little and you have the mental space to become more aware of your failures of hygiene and smalltalk, you still feel powerless to stop it.
Which, as I’ve said before, is bulls!*#t.
Effort must be made. One clean shirt, one returned email, failure by failure you have to claw your way back until some reasonable imitation of normalcy is achieved.
So also with writing. Take this post, for example. It sucks. It’s vapid, reaching, and shallow and it still took me two days from the first line till this one. But I’ve missed too many deadlines, and rail against it though I may, I won’t have written something unless I write something.
Effort must be made. And now I have a post. And my shirt is stain free.
It’s dusty. But that’ll brush off
Thanks for reading. I’m only bothering to post this because I’m posting two more this week to make up, somewhat, for my recent delinquency.
Happy Fourth of July, too. If you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re not…man, don’t you just hate people? They’re all outside my window right now being dumb. All of them. All the people. Dumb.