Blog No. 42
A week is a short amount of time. At least it can be a short amount of time. Depending on context time is fluid. Waiting for a work day to end is equal to or longer than a week between posts. It seems like just yesterday I put up my last post and had a whole week to worry about what to write about for the next one. I think that’s the only real challenge I have faced with this blog. That is it’s the only challenge in writing the blog (I’m sure the blog itself is full of struggles just lurking around the corner). Once I have and idea for what I want to write about, it comes rather quickly. I spend way more time in the thinking about what to write about stage. And I probably spend as much time coming up with reasons why I can’t sit down and hash it out.
Nothing ever seems to be exactly the way I need it to be for me to simply sit down and write. There is always something for me to take care first. I have to get a glass of water before I start and I have to pick what music I’m going to listen to and I might as well get a snack since I’m up. The excuses get even more grandiose (at least they have been). My desk isn’t good enough for me to write at. I need that better desk to be in its own office before I can be productive. Even if I get my own office I will probably never be happy with how it’s set up. There is always something else to get or do or fix before I can really get down to brass tacks.
We are taught that nothing we do should be hard, so when it is it can’t be our fault. Excuses come easily when you are taught that you are special and can’t fail and deserve to get what you want. I agree that teaching children in kindergarten that they are special and wonderful makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t make much sense to continue that coddling until they are out of university. But that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about excuses. I think there are very few people who have not laid down the excuses at one time or another. That’s not to say that they aren’t warranted at times but so often they just stand in the way of our goals.
For me it’s writing (mostly). For others it could be exercising, eating right, saving money, going to school or any number of other objectives. I’m certainly doing a lot better that I ever have before, but there is still a long way to go. On the days I work I’m too tired at the end of the day to write. On the days I don’t work I am too busy doing the things I can’t do when I am busy working (or I deserve to relax because it’s my day off). The writing group helps (a lot). Weekly meetings keep my focused and having Christian write circles around me keeps me motivated. I still have to spend time finding the perfect music for the individual writing session but I am happy with the desk I have. Really all you need for writing is a pen and paper. No excuses.
I’ve always thought of writing as a romantic pursuit. It’s a very personal and lonely profession. The notion of me verses the world and writing sessions running late into the night; brilliance flowing through my pen. Creating worlds for your characters to live and then befriending them (even the villains) because only you really understand them (and only they can understand you). Letting the characters take you to the places they want to go. But the reality is that writing (no matter when or where) is just a lot of hard work and long hours. So many of the things we want to accomplish take time and effort that we aren’t always prepared for. Montages in movies and books make it look so easy and cool. The struggles are noble and always pay off in the end (and they only last a few minutes.
I have a silly romantic notion about a lot of things. The idea of trains and radio, typewriters and propeller planes excite and amaze me. But that’s the catch – it’s the idea of them that does it. The old idealized image of things has that romantic visage. They don’t always live up to what we’ve imagined or remembered. I still have a thing for trains and I do own a typewriter, but experience has made me much more realistic about them. I tend to drive my car anywhere I have to go (talked about that one in an older post) and using a typewriter is awkward and pointless (considering computers and programs are so much easier and cheaper). It’s the same way with my writing now. My delusions have been squashed by reality and struggle but unlike trying to use a typewriter I have found that the struggle is worth it. I may still need to get that glass of water before I sit down to write and my sessions haven’t quite reached late into the night, but I haven’t missed a blog post yet, so that’s something.