There.April 14, 2004
I did my writing.
The penal code in California for an altercation/fight/disturbance is 415 (said four-fifteen). I’ve always got code running through my mind, and I struggle not to use it in polite conversation. But there’s no other good way to say it: I’ve been four-fifteening with my writing for the last, what? Month? Ever since I got sick, I think. I think about it constantly. I want to write constantly. But I don’t. I just put it off, until it’s ludicrous to put it off one more time – yet I do.
I was talking to Bethany and my friend Marama yesterday about it. There’s something so similar in the way I put off writing to the way other people put off working out. It’s always “tomorrow.” (I say “some people” because while I put off working out, I NEVER feel badly about it. I figure I’ll be fat and happy, right? No guilt on that count. For once.) And it’s always tomorrow. How the hell do we tell ourselves that with a straight face?
“Yeah, Inner Rachael, I’ll write tomorrow. Because tomorrow I’ll suddenly have all the time I need to get into a good writerly space, I’ll have the energy, and my brain will be more alert. In fact, if I don’t write today, I’ll be BETTER at writing tomorrow. It’s gonna be great! I can’t WAIT to write tomorrow!”
How does my Inner Self prevent herself from falling about the place, holding her sides from laughing? Instead she nods and agrees (lazy cat). “Tomorrow sounds like a perfect time to write. Now you just put your feet up and read some blogs or something. Relax. You’re working hard, you deserve a break.”
What it comes right down to is that I’m a writer. Not because I write, and not because I get paid to write (please, every blue moon or so), but because there’s nothing else in my heart or mind that makes me happy like writing does. I have no idea why I kick and scream my way to the page, but once I’m there, I’m happy. Even struggling with the characters, as I am right now, I’m happy. Utterly content. And having written.... Well. Is there a better feeling? If I still smoked, I’d light up after writing. It’s like that.
Today I kicked my procrastinator’s agenda by attacking it like this: Instead of doing my eternal puttering upon waking, instead of blogging and checking the blogs I can’t live without checking, instead of making phone calls and paying bills, instead of making breakfast (or whatever meal it is you make when you wake at 2pm), I got out of bed, made a cup of green tea, and wrote.
Seems so simple, doesn’t it? Make it the first priority, because it should be that, anyway. Do it first. I’ve always been a big proponent of Doing the Hard Stuff First because then the ice cream tastes better, so I don’t know why I’ve never done this. Some little voice in my head (I swear I’m no more schizophrenic than most) always told me I had to wake up first and turn on my thought processes. Screw that. All that means is that I get quicker at thinking up excuses why tomorrow will be better. And waking up in front of the page was lovely.
Write first. Eat/blog/chat/TiVo/clean later. Yeah.