Here is a list of things I've done because, I thought, it would make me write more.
1. Reading multiple books at a time. Reading, really, far too many books at once, including a group of books I refer to as my "Daily Readers" which I am supposed to read one entry from per day. While it is true, as I believe Stephen King said, if you have no time for reading then you have no time for writing; it is also true if you spend all the time that could be spent writing instead reading Batman: The Dailies 1943-1946 and An Encyclopedia of Battles and Jughead and Archie Comics Digest, it's possible you'll never get to the writing.
2. Buying fingerless winter gloves. I have not done this. I remember wanting fingerless gloves when I was younger because I thought they looked cool. Then I remember being happy, as a twenty-something smoker, to have a (not really) pragmatic excuse for fingerless gloves. Now, I think buying fingerless gloves will help because now that I'm back to using public transportation, it would afford me the opportunity to write while on the bus. I'm not wrong that it would afford me the opportunity, but I am wrong in my inference that I would use that opportunity, particularly considering it is so fucking cold out I would fully expect my fingertips to break off like the partially melted tip of a little league concession stand Freeze Pop long before I had written anything worthwhile.
3. Porn. No, I have not really thought this would help, but I often do it instead of.
4. Preparing meals long before they're needed. Last night, for example, I prepared today's breakfast, today's lunch, and most of today's dinner. Giving me more time to write in the morning. Of course, instead I have used that time to play my Star Trek: Timelines iPad app on the toilet, long enough that if I don't wiggle my toes while I play, my feet fall asleep.
5. Coffee. I have become a regular coffee drinker. This has not helped at all. But I have something warm to drink, and something to spend more money on, so of course that's always helpful.
6. Developed a stupid schedule. I wake up at 4 am. Every morning. The idea is that it will give me enough time to get some work out time in on the treadmill, to prepare for work, and to write. In most cases I have used this extra time to prepare for work, to watch Star Trek: Deep Space 9, to cuddle with my cats, and to play my Star Trek: Timelines iPad app on the toilet long enough that when I finally push myself up, I am forced to stand in one place for a while and wince while the thousands of tiny little bites all through my feet assure me that the blood has found them again. And porn.
7. This post. This morning I planned to get in an hour of writing and take the earliest bus - 6:22 AM - to work to get in some overtime. As I write this, it is 6:33 AM, and I am still at home. I have told myself that maybe writing a quick blog post would help. Like a confessional. Clear the pipes, Warm up.
Will today be another day I hate myself? Will today be another day I quietly hold everyone around me in contempt for distracting me from writing even though I wouldn't write if I were in the middle of a desert with the closest soul a thousand miles way, even though I know I have had a million opportunities to write that no one has taken away from me? Or will I write?
I have long scoffed at any writer who says they "have to" write. It has sounded false to me. Someone defining themselves by their art and pushing hard to make themselves sound as artistic and full of depth as possible. "Oh, I only write because I must, sir! A blessing? Perhaps. AND A CURSE! Such a terrible, beautiful burden! Such duality! Such irony! Oh that I should be the vessel of humanity's collective creativity! Sometimes I would rather be a simple person! Like you and everyone else who isn't me! Quick, fetch me my coffee and my clove cigarettes! It is time to create!"
But it is not a lie. It is real. I do not always feel the urge to write. It seems like I pushed away every other priority to get a new idea on paper every few hours when I was younger (and of course, when I was younger, calling anything but fantasizing, brooding, music, or comic books a "priority" would have been just plain silly). I do not feel that irresistible urge quite so much. Hardly ever, to be honest.
Still, writing is like a medicine for me. There is a direct, undeniable correlation between how I am doing in my life - in all areas - and the answer to the question: "Is Mick writing?" If I'm writing, then I am probably eating well, exercising, losing weight, spending money smartly, and working hard. If I'm not, then I'm probably eating shit, gaining weight, giving the treadmill a wide berth, spending money on the stupidest shit imaginable, and calling in sick as many days as I can get away with.
I have to write. Every day, I have to write. Maybe I should do it before anything. Maybe before I shower, before I eat, before I get (or don't get) on the treadmill. Maybe that should be numero uno, as soon as I get out of bed. One hour. I can give myself one hour of writing before I do anything else. And then no matter what the day brings, I've taken my medicine.
I mean, it sounds good, right? Sounds like it might make sense.
Will I do it? Will I get on here tomorrow and tell you I wrote first thing? Or will I do my best to amuse you with humor about procrastination that we can all relate to?
I hope I write. I hope I write today. I hope I use most of the rest of the 20 or so minutes I have left before I have to leave for the 7:29 AM bus to write. I hope I use my half hour lunch break and my two 15 minute breaks at work today to write. I hope no matter what happens, I write.
I hope I will write every day just a little bit, and that eventually I will do it enough that one day I will stop consider my responsibilities to be "real" responsibilities only when a supervisor and a paycheck is involved. I hope I learn to shed my impostor syndrome. I hope I write.