Saturday, November 23, 2013
A great deal of 2013 has been spent either willfully not-writing, or bemoaning the fact that there is no time available to me for writing, or that the act of realizing the result of previous writing (engaged in rehearsal process, say) was justification for not writing at that time.
Writing that has come, does so in fits and starts. For two years writing meant this blog, researching Cleveland history and reporting on that. Then came the work, carving out time in the afternoon on weekends for the creation of specific projects. Staring into the screen, typing and editing. Facebook and Twittering.
Then, nothing. Not for a while. Like exercise, it takes a will. It's not that I do not like writing, I do. It is not that I do not take great joy in writing, I do. It is just tiresome procrastination, like anything that feels good while you are doing, the default pose of not comes much easier, especially when you feel "justified".
That was a long day or I deserve to veg or here is a nice drink or what are my friends up to on Facebook or I'd rather go running or there's cleaning to be done or look I have children or anything else at all.
I do not like to write at night. I cannot concentrate, I would much rather be washing dishes or folding clothes, listening to podcasts or watching TV. Writing in the morning on any given weekday just seemed pointless. There is no time to actually accomplish anything.
Then I remembered something I used to tell my wife when she was going through an extended period of not writing at all. I said, get up a half hour early, and write for a half-hour every day. She said, that's not enough, and I pointed out it would be a half-hour more than she was currently doing.
For I don't know how long I have been getting up at six. She has a new job teaching, and gets up a four quite often, and would wake me at six. Two months ago, when we moved into our new bedroom, and I got my own bedside table and lamp (this was new, our bed used to be in a corner and I got the wall) I asked her to bring me coffee at 5:30, and I would get my half-hour.
This is fair. I have been bringing her coffee every morning since 1995.
I have a steno pad and pen, and I write, longhand, whatever. It does not matter. Just words on the page. This is very hard for me, but I do it. Even if it's a paragraph or a sentence, I can just shift gears and write something else at any time, it doesn't matter. With my hand. My laptop is not allowed in the bedroom -- today is a rare exception, I was blogging last night, and here I am again.
Blogging is not to be confused with writing.
Lo and behold, I started writing a new script. I have to be sure not to make the morning writing about PRODUCING WORK, because then it would all just stop. But some paragraphs are in verse, about characters, very playful, silly writing. I typed some of it up earlier in the week, and that made me happy.
I wrote for a half-hour this morning before starting this blog post. And if the half-hour is up, and I cannot write, I have a stack of books from the library to read until my time is up. This is my current morning ritual, and it serves me very well.