Thursday, October 13, 2011


As boring as is sounds, I need routine in order to write.  Stability, order, cleanliness... I need a space in time that is surrounded by lots of nothing.  I know of lots of writers, most notably women, who get up at 4 A.M. after three hours of sleep and do the cooking, baking, cleaning, laundry, and sneak in 15 minutes of writing before the kids get up and she goes off to her 13 hour day at in the executive suite. I am sure my mythical woman writes a few paragraphs on the can at work and at stoplights stuck in traffic on the commute home.

I can't do that. I need "clean time" surrounded by an ocean of nothing to do. I need six hours to write two because the two hours of work have to be preceded by and followed by two hours with no obligations.  I excoriate myself for this insane need for leisure as a prerequisite for doing any work, but it has been my mode for many years, including the years I pursued the art of photography. A bad habit I can cure with an act of will, like quitting smoking or losing weight or with hypnotism or psychotherapy or maybe drugs...  I dunno, this quirk is still with me into my sixth decade and has prevented me from writing ten times more novels than I have actually produced. Maybe those were crap books that didn't need to be written. Rationalize, Rationalize, Rationalize...

My lazy friends tell me I am the most productive person they know.  My productive friends have not seen fit to comment. I consider myself lazy, and feel guilty, but I feel guilty about a lot of things--forgetting to take my vitamins or going to bed without flossing or not giving my dog a long enough walk. I live in a fog of guilt.  My Executive Director friend Karen says that the person who makes the best employee is the most guilty person, and she has a graduate degree in management. What about being self employed, Karen?

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