Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Silent Tantrum

Sometimes, it's damned hard to get going.
You roll over and push snooze dozens and dozens of times, unwilling to face the 4:30 AM fog that hangs around your neighborhood. The dog's still asleep, so why not? He has no concept of time anyway, so another day without an early morning walk won't kill him. Once you do get going, even picking out suitable attire is a freaking chore. "Nudist colony," you think to yourself. "I'll have to look into that." Then there's the morning ritual. All that fun, tedious stuff. Then breakfast. Then driving. Oh, man, driving. That sucks. The only thing that could possibly make driving to work fun is the right soundtrack, which depends on the emotion. Skrillex for anger. Hindi pop for happiness. Radiohead for melancholy. Regina Spektor if you're in love. For our blog, I'm thinking "Kill Everyone" by Skrillex is in order. "I want to eat your heart." Then of course, you spend eight long hours drilling away at a hole that might get bigger, but nobody's going to really notice, because the hole isn't important anyway. (Sometimes, work makes me feel like this is all that I do.) Then home. Perhaps grocery shopping, exercising, walking dogs (because you screwed them over in the morning.), laundry, dinner, watching your shows and FINALLY...


So writing, which is the one thing that absorbs most of your passion, your brain and your talent gets the crap slot in the day. The exhausted, feeble, distracted part where you can barely keep your freaking eyes open. Yeah, that's when you choose to really get down and dirty with your career choice. The world gets the best of you. The energetic part. The part fueled by green tea and multi-vitamins. The fresh you that comes dancing out of the car twirling around like a Bollywood actress. (I mean, if you start your day happy. Otherwise, if you've listened to Skrillex, you're going to load your shotgun and swerve into the parking lot with a cigar clenched between your teeth.) Either way, good or bad, writing sits patiently on the backburner again.

Perhaps this is why I feel anti-social and hermit-like much of the time. It's because I don't feel I have any time at all to give to my craft. When you tell people you're going to be a published author someday, they get that raised eyebrow look that annoys the crap out of you because they don't understand how serious you are. And yet, you have to give this person, whoever he or she might be, one of the brightest hours of your day because you have to make some damned money.

So the silent tantrum, as I like to call it, is thrown into action. The brooding, dark author shows up and starts to dig him or herself a little cave, throwing claws out into the light if anybody comes close. They don't understand you, nor do they appreciate the severity of your passion. Someday, you'll show them, by jove. Someday soon, hopefully. Someday, after these agents will pick your slush out of their overstuffed emails and succeed in getting you that much coveted publication deal.
Oh, sweet someday.

Until then, the only thing to do is try your damndest to give everything you have (and then some) to this finicky occupation. What choice have you? I've often thought that writers are all insane (myself included) and I think it's large in part because you have to be a special kind of cat to enjoy dwelling in your own cranium that damned much. To make a story out of the voices in your head. Man, it's beautiful stuff.

But the silent tantrum can get us through our days.
At any rate, some advice. Don't give your career the crap slot, like I often do because I'm a procrastinating hack. Give it the best you there is, if possible. If you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, then write a bit before work. If noon is you at your shiniest, then write on the lunch hour. If you're a late afternoon creative genius, then get it going afterward. There's no excuse for giving writing, your glorious talent, the worse appointment just because it doesn't complain as much as the other obligations. Screw em. They're expendable!

There's no need for the silent tantrum, where you're grumpy with the world because it won't let you create. You can kick and scream about a lot of things, but don't make writing one of them.