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.

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Another inertia-trouncing approach: Acknowledging A Year Of Triumphs

In Which Everything Gets Crossed Off

While packing up my apartment in Brooklyn a couple of months ago, I found a box of (oh, let’s call them ‘vintage’) notebooks:  pre-Y2K date books, address books with names from 3 or 4 lives ago, college notes from classes I barely remember taking, and pads full of to-do lists.  These were the most interesting.  Before I plunked that dusty old box into the trash, you KNOW there was going to be some rummaging – and it was an enlightening exercise, flipping through my beloved Virgoan lists.  Time capsules they were, my archaeology of agendas.  (Look Mom!  See how I’ve grown!)  Often the same entries appeared, year after year;  some from 1996 remained until 2002, even ’05!  I actually went 7 years trying to get to the DMV to renew an expired driver’s license.  Household chores transferred from one week to the next, unaccomplished.  (Really, who wants to clean the attic or oil the hinge on the back door?)  Call Home was a common sight.  Clean Out Trunk.  And winner in the Most Popular category?  File Taxes.

Well, It finally dawned on me that I’m not really a procrastinator.  I just hadn’t written the right list yet.  It’s a fine craft, I realize. Now I compose effectively.  Order is crucial.  Pleasure ranks.  I sneak in one or two chores and the rest are activities I relish.  Here’s a recent one:

1)  Read a poem

2)  Go for a walk

3)  Tune into Democracy Now! or read BBC online

4)  Do laundry or vacuum

5)  Write

6)  Go to one:  library/gallery/park/harbor/yoga class

7)  Make soup

8)  Empty compost bucket

9)  Do online banking/investing/research

Carpe Diem, friends.

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