I realized something this afternoon as I sat down to tackle a new scene in the play I'm writing: whenever I begin to write the computer screen becomes a Kurosawa-worthy battleground between the impending work and my proclivity for procrastination. The best part of this is that no one has hired me to write. I work for myself. I write this play with the twinkle of hope that someone likes it enough to do a staged reading for which he/she won't compensate me that turns into a production for which he/she barely compensates me; which means that, in essence, I participate in petty thievery every time I sit down to write but don't write. Though instead of traditional time thievery--stealing from some corporate something-something by gossiping next to the water cooler--I steal from myself, which is lame. What kind of dolt steals her own time, frittering it away on the Twitter or buying embroidered pillows adorned with four letter words? I'll tell you: me. I do. That's why I'm the worst.
My thievery comes from a good place, though; a place of fear, shame, self-loathing and doubt. I also enjoy online shopping. Truly, it all boils down to this: the play will never be useful if I don't finish it. As soon as this fact settles in I need to decompress because I get very stressed about the whole everything-riding-on-my-shoulders part. The pressure I impose upon myself is overwhelming. I want to do the work but it does scare me. It makes me quite vulnerable. It's easy to be flippant about other people's writing, but as soon as I sit down with myself and a cup of tea to get it done I feel anxious and I need relief. That's where my petty thievery comes out to play. Doing something relaxing distracts me from the crippling fear of failure that sometimes sneaks into my workspace with me.
These are some of my favorite relaxing time thieving past times:
1. Practice my mug shot with Photo Booth.
Will I be snarky and defiant like a celebutant or chagrined and bashful like a man just caught with a shemale prostitute? Which best suits my personality? You be the judge.
|This isn't serious.|
|This is potentially going to end my career.|
Pathetic, Burroughs, pathetic.
2. Plan a trip I can't afford.
This is almost a motivator, as it inspires me to get my ass in gear to not only finish a play that can finance my soon-to-be-high-rolling lifestyle but also gets me to the cussing gym. I need to work out. Trips I've all but booked include but are not limited to:
a. Turks and Caicos
b. St. Thomas
c. India (non-specific, sometimes an ashram, sometimes the vague idea of 'backpacking')
g. Spain (but this is a total relocation, not a mere trip)
h. Cross country road trip in the vein of Steinbeck or Kerouac (less drug use, probably)
i. Any World Cup
j. Teach English anywhere that isn't the United States
k. Lake Baikal
3. Learn Portuguese.
I have a vested interest in doing this--and enjoy it immensely--but I tend to be quite enthusiastic about learning whenever I have writing to do.
4. Check ex-boyfriends' Tumblrs.
I don't do this because I'm interested in what these guys have to say or even what they're up to; I do it because it usually annoys me enough to get off the Internet.
5. Learn new music.
If I've writing to do I somehow rekindle my passion to perform musical theatre. For those in the know they must realize this is quite a feat. Give me a scene to write and I will learn two new songs and start putting together a cabaret--and it'll be hysterical. You better believe it.
6. Get political.
I love finding incredibly disgusting, bigoted rants from zealots and closed-minded, inarticulate ramblings from conservative political candidates and immediately posting them on the Facebook, thereby inciting the masses--pitting my socialist friends against the tight asses I know from high school.
I strive to be pithy and witty for my 200+ followers--most of whom are HVAC repairers.
Uta Hagen wrote that nothing got her apartment clean like having to work on a new character. Amen, sister. I think I'd zamboni the Northwest Territories to avoid writing some days.
9. Watch Entourage.
I say this is my research in the depths of the male psyche; really I just like watching Ari break stuff.
10. Drink lots of water.
Since I don't drink adult beverages while I write I end up drinking lots of water to a) be a fount of health and beauty, and b) avoid work by constantly taking pee breaks.
There's nothing left. I've exhausted everything. Time to wrestle the beast and muse. Boa noite!