Monday, September 5, 2016

I Write Better When I Pretend I’m a Writer


Don’t give me that, “But you are a writer,” bullshit. I know.

What I don’t know is why the label means so much to many of us, why getting to the point of saying it can be so difficult, and why the fear of people’s reactions can cause our stomachs to clench by the mere mention of the word—even though I have been on the receiving end of a, “Are you now?” smirk enough to know what I’m afraid of.

I learned a trick back in college where I heard an actor explain just how different the commitment to “presentation” helped him in “mind over matter” of getting disgusting jobs done. By perceiving himself as ‘an actor,’ he could pretend what he was doing ‘wasn’t real,’ and therefore desensitize himself to it.

Sometimes I use this to choke down food. There have been many times in my life when I do not want to eat and find that by “playing the part” of a diner, I am able to get it down without my body gagging in disgust.

And sometimes, when my manuscripts are causing reflux, I will sit up, focus, and play the part of being a writer, just to get that shit done.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to write or blog—or really do anything than sleep and work. Partially, it’s the lack of routine and 12 to 14 hour days that get me; I’m completely fine while doing the deed, but the second I get home, I crash. I intentionally asked for three a.m. so that when I got home, there would be plenty of daylight hours to get shit done. Doesn’t work when you’ve turned into a bat.

I leave in a little over a month for New York City. My job has less than four weeks left, and my plan to buff up my bank account has worked well. I’ve picked up the violin again and was shocked to realize that “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is still in my rapport. The E string also makes my cat come out from his hiding place, so at least something will. I’m almost finished with that damn trilogy turned hexalogy I’ve been struggling reading since… forever, and have found a couple of T.V. shows I actually enjoy. I made my first Etsy sale last weekend, started my newsletter, and have hopefully embarrassed myself enough to get my beloved coat back from Arizona where I left it. Things have been going better at least, and I feel a lot of the stress and anger subsiding.

But I’m surprised how much my hand fought me opening a word document today. I finally have some time to write, and I even needed to post a blog today! Blogs have always been easy for me, stream-of-conscious drivel that pours from my psyche, so I’m usually stoked to write one. I have a lot of things to say to myself. But today, and over the last few weeks, blogging has been impossible. I’ve held no interest in it, and even now I’m over thinking how not to be boring or bossy. (BUT I MUST BE ME!)

Point being, the habit of writing makes writing easier. Skipping a day always screwed me, skipping weeks have been worse.

In attempts to procrastinate, I’ve gone back into my folder of finished, but never posted, blogs, to find over 71 pieces finished since 2013. How the hell did I manage that?

There’s a reason they went into that folder instead of going up; each of them I found at the time of writing to be closed-minded, boring, angry, or bossy, not suitable for the internet. Or rather, perfectly able to get along there, but we don’t need any more of that.

They’re not as bad as I thought, though. Some of it clearly had to do with self-loathing or nerves. I’ve been going through and editing, and hopefully will have some suitable for the oncoming months as I move. It's possible that in October and November you'll be seeing some old pieces as I gather my life together.

My plans to submit my manuscript finally in August have fallen through, and I’m not sure if sending it out right before I leave for New York is a great plan or a terrible one. On the one side, I won’t be able to fixate on refreshing my email (or avoiding it), on the other side, 40 hours of driving gives me a lot of time to think.

I still need at least one more read through and to re-examine my list, so that might answer that.

Today is a one of the few days I’ve had off with absolutely no plans, so I hoped to get some junk done, but it’s not turning out well. Having not done it for a few days…

It’s easier to just pretend like I’m competent and act like it than to try and fight who I really am—Lazy and freezing.



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