The Rhythm of It

Bad day, good day, bad day, good day… I guess I can’t expect all good.

I had a terrible writing day yesterday. First problem: I could not, not for the life of me, get up. I slept in till eleven I think, or it could have been closer to noon. As a morning writer, this really kills the magic, but I still made an attempt to salvage the day. I ventured out to my favorite new cafe where, should have guessed, there was not one free table. So I went to a backup cafe, had coffee I don’t even really like anymore, and shoved myself on over to my weekend writing spot. My favorite desk was taken, obviously, so I took another one. I opened my file. I told myself I would finish the chapter. I did not. I felt so tired—though, if you sleep ten hours, how can you still be tired?—that I contemplated sleeping on the floor under my desk. Then, after hours of denying myself a nap but still not getting any worthy writing done, I wrote a good sentence. Then another. Then—no!—I remembered I was asked to make cuts to a work-for-hire book I wrote some months ago and I think they wanted the cuts on Monday. So I stopped writing to work on the cuts. And there went my day. I went home and my overflowing email inbox gave me the panics and the fact that I have no idea how to fix my life and my partner’s life gave me panics and the panics even made it so I couldn’t read a magazine or enjoy meaningless TV. I began to mutter that I don’t know if I can do it, I can’t do it, I can’t! And E ran out to get me food before I keeled over from the can’ts. Whatever the cause, the writing day was a bust.

So, today, a Sunday, I was nervous. Late last night—technically early in the morning—I was woken by an awful series of squawks coming from the living room. High-pitched, vibrating the walls: that’s what’s otherwise known as our door buzzer. The buzzes just kept going. I was fast asleep at first, so I didn’t really understand what was happening. Then I figured it out. Clearly someone wanted in the building, but I was so tired I couldn’t get out of bed. Finally some poor soul got out of bed to let them in, because next came the noise from the hallway—pounding and drilling and a locksmith yelling that someone better pay the 160 bucks they owed him.

So it was not a good start to the day. I woke up, snoozed the alarm for a half hour, then tried to start my day. Somehow I made it to my new favorite cafe, where a good table against the wall was there waiting for me. Somehow I opened my file and started to type. Somehow good sentences came out. Somehow I finished the chapter.

There will come a time when I will finish this manuscript and will need some readers to actually read it to see if it’s any good. That day seems so far ahead in the future I can’t even imagine it. It’s like saying “someday I will own a house” or “someday I will live in California” or “someday I will grow a third thumb.”

Anyway, I’m writing toward that someday. Yesterday was bad, but today, so far, is pretty okay.

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