Thursday, November 17, 2005

I got 35 problems.

And a bitch ain’t one.

A bitch is actually two – or three. But that’s a whole nother blog.

The nice thing about being aggressively alone, broke, and bored with a huge writing deadline on the horizon, is that it gives you plenty of time to focus on what’s really important – or as the Dalai Lama might say, “Time to reflect.”

Or as I might say, “Time to really drive yourself crazy.”

Somehow, I always manage to put a stupidly romantic spin on reclusion. I always imagine myself wearing a long hippie dress while sitting at my writing desk in front of a window with the afternoon sun, shining down on me. I’m in a country cabin. My hair looks perfect, my brow remains unfurrowed. I am at peace.

Mind you, it has never gone down like this. The few times I have managed long writing sessions, I definitely haven’t worn a dress – mainly because I tend not to shower when I’m really deep into the writing spirit, so a ratty T-shirt and old underwear are usually my writing uniform of choice. I add sweatpants and my Carnegie Mellon zip-up hoodie to the mix in the winter.

Lets not even talk about my hair, which just kind of sits tied up in a tenuous Medusa pile on top of my head, out of the way and without regard to fashion. It looks more like a hostage than a hairstyle.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, writing isn’t exactly a peaceful activity.

I tend to think of it like this:

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a schizophrenic.

No really.

A lot of writing has to do with dealing with the words, stories, and people in your head without the use of psychotropic drugs.

If I’m really into a session, I speak along with my characters as I write, take on their voices and the voice of my inner-editor, “No, that dialogue won’t work,” and "It will sound better like this." and "Just tell me the truth!" and "I'm serious, don't fuck with me."

If you saw me on the street in this state, you’d give me change.

So since that’s me writing, I consider real life kind of lovely. It provides distractions, gives you people to talk to, and keeps you from having to focus too much on yourself.

However, I’ve been alone for four days now, and I’m starting to feel a little crazy and worried and anxious.

But you can only wallow in these kind of feelings for so long before it becomes neither romantic nor fun, so this morning, I wrote down every single problem I have from the really romantic ones (I work more than three hours a day) to the chronic ones (I like stay broke) to overarching theme ones (I’m undisciplined) to the itsy-bitsy ones (I need to make eye and dentist appointments)

And to my surprise I felt a lot better. I’ve always found the only way to get rid of a story that keeps running through your head is to write it down, and as it turns out, it’s pretty much the same thing with problems.

I mean they’re still problems, but now they’re down on paper. And there are only 35 of them – frankly, I thought there’d be a lot more. Anyway, now they’re less threatening and crystal clear. And best of all, now I can somehow see that they’re – no it couldn’t be, but it is – they’re actually . . . solveable.

So I made a vow to look at my problems every single day and do something that works towards solving them. And suddenly I’m back to being just a little (as opposed to completely) insane. Or as I like to call it, “Good ole me.”

No comments: