Monday, March 10, 2003

Instead of Aerobics

After writing the previous post, and jetting off the San Francisco, I spent a little time thinking about this lack of introspection, this inability to think of something to write about that is interesting and deeper than a mere recount of my activities. It occurred to me that it has nothing to do with my inability to think of something to write about... it has to do with lacking the time to mine the words out.

I was considering Luiz's suggestion of laying out my family history when I was stuck for a topic, relating the story of how my great-grandparents came over from China or suchlike. And while that's a great idea, and I have in the past started such posts, they're difficult to write. I mean, it's hard enough to make my stories interesting, and I was there. It's even harder to make a bit of history that I only know from hearsay come to life.

I also considered, yesterday, writing about my relationship with my father... something that was on my mind and would probably be of value. But to do so would have taken considerably more time than the thirty or so minutes I had at my disposal (especially since my father kept interrupting me while I was writing... he called me four times yesterday morning and kept me busy on eBay looking for computer software). It's hard enough to babble glancingly about movies and restaurants under such conditions, and quite impossible to walk onesself through all the emotions and garbled memories of a paternal relationship.

So it seems to me that the problem is not so much my lack of introspection... it's my lack of idle time. Or, rather, a lack of idle time in which I have enough energy, both mental and physical, to sit in front of a computer and think and type at the same time. It takes me several hours of application to get one good long post written out. I type fast, but the devil is in the editing; and I'm always thinking of something else and having to go back and add it in, or I am interrupted and have to go back and start reading from the beginning to catch up my thread, or I make typos that aren't obvious in the Helvetica font of the edit window but jump right out in the Times Roman font of the webpage destination, so I don't see them until after I've published. And then, the harder the topic, the longer it will take for me to organize and express it, to differentiate between exposition and exhibitionism, and to create orderly prose out of the chaos of my psyche.

The last week or two I haven't had that kind of time. My life suddenly seems to be action-packed, even if the action can best be described as Resting. I have chosen to blame it on my new Boss-Guy, his relentless project-giving on top of all the extra work attendant on a change of administration in a small office (the ongoing drama of the bank signatures has generated about a week's-worth of work all by itself). Because such things are never my fault, you know.

It would of course have nothing to do with me not giving my writing a place of priority in my daily life. It would have nothing to do with me sitting in front of the television for hours instead of writing. Granted, my mind has been very difficult to manage lately, work is using up more mental energy than it usually does and I have less mental energy than I usually do... but when I look at the last few posts here, I see that I am always writing just before I have to do something else, like go to work or rehearsals or whatever, and not in the evenings when I have nothing better to do than flip through the channels and watch nothing.

Well, anyway... as has become usual, I am writing in the morning (which is when my mind seems most blank, and therefore most orderly), and I now have to get up and go take a shower and eat something and get myself off to the office. I was going to start my aerobics regimen today, but I decided to write instead. I guess that's the key to making myself prioritize things... give myself something to avoid, some work harder than writing. I wrote my best fiction when I was avoiding a college paper, and I've done some of my best journaling when I had an envelope-stuffing project at work. Something in that... but I'll have to find something harder than aerobics to avoid doing or I'll never get into the aerobics themselves (I looked into the Pilates thing, BTW, and didn't like the cost-quotient, or the fact that Madonna is one of the arbiters of the movement... I tend to avoid doing anything Madonna does).

So off I go! Much to do! Have a lovely day!

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