The Metrics Of Procrastination

oooOOH!  I get it.  To be a writer means to actually, like, you know, write.  Right?

Some friends have reached out lately making sure I’ve not been moose-trampled or otherwise met with unfortunate Down East ends.  Not to worry, I’m still breathing.  Labored, maybe, but like my chiropractor noticed when he was massaging my diaphragm last month – there’s deeper breaths to be taken, if I’d just looooosen the heck up.

So, I tried.  Formally.  The result?  Breathing exercises, my ass.  Who knew Dirgha Pranayama and Ujjayi would be so challenging?  Couldn’t I just run a 10K instead?   I’ll huff and puff my way ‘cross the finish line.  I promise.

It’s not called practice for nothing.  Yoga, writing, meditation.  Practice, practice, practice!  Argh.  Can’t it just once be about the destination?

Well, March-May was hard, seeing as my measure of springtime are those glorious, manicured days in New York City, but here its name is M-U-D, aka the longest damn ending to the snowiest winter EVER.  No sun, mostly in the forties, and relatively leafless until, pretty much, yesterday.  While the rest of the country is smouldering already, I’m still in long sleeves.  And a scarf.

I DID have a moment of spark, post-cleanse, when the muses started dancing.  It looked like this:

Bret Michaels
Look what the cat dragged in.

Yeah, kickstart my heart!

It’s not all for naught.  Many words have materialized on the pages of my memoir-in-progress and I’ve researched some communist (and capitalist) propaganda for my Soviet-era play that’s been rattling around in the pinball machine of my imagination, but clearly this blog’s been the white elephant.  (True. I’ve stubbed toes and peanut shells as evidence.)  Each passing day the ant hill morphs into sheer rockface.  Where did I leave those crampons?

Maybe someone snuck in and let the air out of my oxygen tank.

Which reminds me:
“A little bird told me that jumping is easy and the falling is fun, right up until you hit the sidewalk – shivering and stunned.” ~ Ani DiFranco

…like those little finches that fly into the floor-to-ceiling windows at my sister’s house, I’m comin’ to and shakin’ it off.

Then I was waylaid while overcome with Multi-Entrepreneurial Disorder – which, when infected, causes the patient to want to start myriad businesses and collaborative ventures – all under the delusion that she wants to actually work for a living, which I don’t.  What a rabbit hole THAT was.

So, the mania is ebbing and I got myself an $8/hr gig to see how the other 95% live. All in the name of fact-finding and experimentation.  Or… after the snow-pocalypse, then the mud-apalooza and months of solitary scribbling, I know if I don’t get out of this house and talk to other humans, live and in the flesh, I’m gonna commit harikari.

Yeah, the writer’s life. Be careful what you wish for…

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe ~ the writing’s fabulous!  Everything’s goin’ swimmingly!  I’m endlessly inspired and well-disciplined.  I’m churning out magnificent book after book and my publishers keep advancing me enough to buy that charming island with the tricked-out Cape in Penobscot Bay.  Oh, the life – just like Dr. Seuss predicted: all the places I’ll go!  As well, I just won the Booker Prize, and James Franco hired me for a consult.

Or maybe I should keep channeling my inner Bret Michaels and go find myself some groupies.  They say sex tames the….oh, never mind.


Another inertia-trouncing approach: Acknowledging A Year Of Triumphs


Survival Lesson Number One

You know what to do, he seems to point out.  The answer lies within.  Or maybe he’s just sharing his cake.

I’ve long eschewed routine, preferring to keep life interesting by jumping in the river and seeing where it takes me.  Following the current kept my senses alert – watching for rock outcroppings and swirling eddies, being seduced by the water’s coolness and enchanting rush.  A schedule signified attention deficit, a diminishing of natural rhythm – the damming up of energy.  These days, however, my discipline leads me.  It climbs the rungs of system and structure, elevating my craft.  What to do, then, when my itinerant inclinations rise up and I’m missing everyone I love – the casualty of living more than 300 miles away?  Is routine mobile?  I’m about to find out.

I toss my trusty red leather travel bag in the car, gas up and go.  Six hours of highway roll under and away, and I’m back in the company of my family.  Comfortably nestled, I am thrilled to see them.  Still, I did move north for fewer distractions, and all I want to do now is sit on the floor with my nephew and stack blocks.  I’m eager to hang out with my sister, talking in the ways that only being face to face, legs tucked underneath, mugs of tea in hand can elicit.  Navigating familiar territory with a fledgling stance of self-government is challenging for an emerging writer.  How do I maintain the regimen I’ve begun to forge?  Wait.  That’s it!  Maintain.  I look it up:  to practice a habit or custom, to persevere.  I need to keep on writing, wherever my traveling heart takes me.  It’s not routine that’s required, it’s perseverance.  So simple.

Last weekend I visited an artist’s gallery, an outdoor sculpture garden.   Above the guest book in a wooden lean-to was a sign with that very word inscribed.  It didn’t register much at the time, but  I photographed it nonetheless.

Seems like the answer arrived even before the question.

%d bloggers like this: