I’ve been awake for a while today. I woke up at 6:30am. I lay in bed for about an hour and a half petting my dog. She likes scratches just under her ear and on her neck. When I do this, she usually falls asleep and snores. But I was awake.
I’ve made my coffee and showered, and I have watched all the TikToks and done all the scrolling of Instagram that I can take. I’ve read some blogs on WordPress too. Checked my e-mail. Nothing of interest there. So, that leaves really only a few things. One of them is to write.
Yesterday I left the book at 9:30pm, knowing that if I started work on another chapter I would be up until 2am with my brain humming but physically exhausted and not much use to anyone. Today, I know I need to write.
I wonder sometimes what all of this scrolling is. This seeking external stimuli to get motivated enough to work. I think it’s a bad habit I picked up, working for the State and Higher Ed. Most days people there would do all the scrolling and newsreading and catching up until…would you look at the time! It’s lunch already? Wow! And then after lunch, they were too tired or gassy or whatever to really get into that next project. You pick up crap like this after 20 years of it.
I know I need to write, and a part of me thinks that if I see the right thing on TikTok or Instagram or god help me, Facebook, I will have that part of me looking for motivation satiated and then I can begin. I liken it to the begining of the Ray Bradbury Theatre episodes from back in the 80s, when Ray would scan the landscape of his basement writing room with all of his weird shit on the walls and shelves and meet with inspiration that let him crank out another Bradbury-esque tale of nostalgia, suspense, or irony.
I can assure you than no amount of tschotkes in your work space is going to inspire you to write the book. All of that comes from within. The trinkets and stuff on the shelves comes from the gift shop at the end of the adventure, not before. Some of them might let you focus on what you might want to work on. I have a plastic pearl from a prom dress that has made its way into blog posts and the book, but it’s not like it was the kernel of the entire story. That comes from some other place.
Sometimes the Story comes to us from those things, but usually not. When you write, or do any kind of art, the Story breaks down your door and insists that you pay attention to it. Staring wistfully at old skulls and jars of pennies is not going to make the story happy. She is the ultimate angry Karen and she’s here to speak with your manager.
So, now it’s time to write.