End of the day

Writing should ideally take place first thing in the morning. As it is, so far every day it’s been literally the last thing I do before I pack it in for the night. Somehow this has ended up around 10 or 11 PM, after the baby’s down around 7:30 or 8 and we’ve both pecked away at a few things for the last couple of hours.

Discipline is important, though, and it’s something I had in spades throughout university. I think I lost a lot of that over the last few years since finishing my Masters. I suspect the yawning gap on my CV now makes me officially unemployable; since I “ran my own business” but only had a handful of clients, I really have no completed work to show for that period. I picked up a couple of jobs here and there, but with the move to the US, immigration, and – oh, life – it’s a big, empty hole, aside from some pet projects (like the Microbiome Project with Slow Food Ventura) and some that were mercifully euthanized before they ran their course. But there’s something about a baby in our lives that has made doubling down on discipline so much easier. Each day, 10 minutes of guitar practice, 500 words, and my suite of physical therapy exercises (which take 10-15 minutes to run through). That’s it. I can do more; last night I got into a rhythm and had 21 minutes on the guitar, and the night before, I rattled out over 1000 words before I felt like what I’d had in my head to say, was said.

But more often than not, there are so many little things in my head that I wanted to say that I can’t pick out the one thread. I need to get better at keeping notes over the day – jotting down observations, like journalists do, to keep track. Otherwise, it’ll just be one post after another of disjointed, brief and badly disorganized thoughts, rather than a cohesive point that is made, developed, concluded.

As any writer knows, though, it’s not about showing up to write¬†well every day — it’s just about showing up, getting something down, and then editing afterwards. Which I intend to do (but I won’t promise). Even if all this is an utter waste of time from my reader’s standpoint, I needed to put in the time of flexing the very thin, feeble, flabby little writing muscles that were left over from my university days (and before that, highschool, where I wrote some really long, rather terrible short stories). Really, to someone super fit, lifting a 2 lb weight is a waste of time; it’s so far below their capacity. But to someone who hasn’t been doing much at all, or has suffered an injury, or is a really small young underdeveloped person (hey, like a little kid) lifting 2 lbs is a big deal. It’s all about context…. which, I presume, is something I’m going to be writing about awfully soon. I might even include that rough-legged draft I wrote for In Practice magazine, and never returned the finished version, and intend to clean up and resubmit.

Funny how 500 words now feels like the 1000 words I used to regularly write: the struggle is the same all the way through the beginning, middle, end. Hmmph. But now it’s time for bed, for real. G’night all.

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