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Preface: As I've said, oldie writing will be dusted off and plunked blogside (at least at first; new stuff should gradually overtake i...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

On shifting one's ass into gear

A little quote from the eminently quotable T. H. Huxley:

It is when a man is free to do as he likes that he encounters his worst difficulties.

It now sits as part of the pre-fab signature at the end of my e-mails, although I fear it pins me to the specimen-board like a gonzo butterfly. For there is an hour or two in the morning when the laws of Canada and the general economy of things allows me an hour or two to write whatever I damn well please; furthermore I am now enjoying a few weeks vacation allowing me even more time, and... well, the results, as they say, are not pretty.
    Firing up the laptop, I am more likely to drift over to Facebook and Twitter, checking what other folks are up to, browsing the topics du jour, dropping a mere quip or ten just to prove I'm sociable. Actually I am quite anti-social, and getting decidedly crabbier with age, as seems normal. Hey, the unexamined life is not worth grousing about, right?
    What I should be doing is attacking the horribly overdue book of poetry criticism I've contracted for, although that project too has it's snares and fetters, like dredging up a lost essay from the 90s to reprint, avoiding the impulse to devour just one more poem or item about poetry under the guise of doing research, or mustering the Muse for actual writing.
    Most days I accomplish little or nothing, and then it's time to head to work (the money-making kind in the taxi) and/or walk the dog, and/or attend to a dozen or more domestic chores. At least with these things it's a fairly cut-and-dried application of time and effort. But the long-lingering backlog of writing? Nothing but an empty arena populated with question-marks.
    And it's too late to become a lawyer or a machinist. Writing is what seduced me and writing is what I'm married to. Now the only option is to make like an automaton and go. And if that requires a cup of coffee after the morning bowl of cereal, so be it. Although, oddly, I've found that half a teaspoon of the instant stuff seems to kick better than a full teaspoon.
    Whatever works...