Sunday, January 9, 2011

"I would write if I didn't have to work"

Like most of you scallywags, I used to get up at 6:30AM, muddle through some morning ritual that involved a shower/pants and schlepped to work for 8 AM where there was a big plate of dicks for me to eat everyday. Then I'd go home, hit the snooze button on my life's ambitions and be brainless for the rest of the night before I ventured to the bedroom to repeat the cycle.

I'd have enough energy to be creative once in a while; put together a new blog, write a freelance magazine article, Photoshop a poster for someone, but rarely did that energy survive the next day, let alone the rest of the soul crushing week. It was only when I began this whole career business, that I consistently found inspiration and creative energy at the tail end of a 3 day weekend. As if my head needed exactly 2.5 day to decompress from the office before I could work on anything life changing. But that energy was immediately sapped the next morning because of that whole needing a roof/food thing.

Those weekends really lent themselves to my budding theory that work was the reason I wasn't getting any of my self-fulfilling, extracurricular activities accomplished, as opposed to my die-hard, Methodist work ethic screaming, "IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO DO IT, YOU'D JUST DO IT AFTER WORK." The latter philosophy lends itself to a lot of drinking.

Last November, I pushed through National Novel Writing Month with a 7am to 4pm job, and thanks to my work ethic, I actually accomplished writing a novel. While the overall experience was fulfilling, life changing and exhilarating, the day-to-day was completely miserable. Most nights, I was a zombie at the keyboard just trying to make the word count, making for, what I'm sure is, a very awful novel. The exercise served its purpose, but I still wasn't happy writing everyday after work. The energy was still missing and it was alienating on top of that.

Luckily, I was able to put a little bit of my "work is the problem" theory to the test. My job recently demanded a change in my schedule and I now work from 11:30AM to 8PM. I now sink those open, morning hours into writing. I now write five days a week for 60-90 minutes and the system fucking works! Instead of waking up for The Man and being all, "I'm gonna be late to work," I'm now waking up to do something for myself... and it's electrifying. I go to work giddy, slightly high off the fuming keyboard and ready to eat the plate of metaphorical dicks, because I know I did something worth while that day.

Admittedly, I'm sure this is partially a body chemistry thing, knowing when your brain is ready to do creative business, and I hit the jackpot.

1 comment:

-RWWGreene said...

Since I wake up for work at 4:45, that means I need to get up at 2:30 or 3 to get that time. No problem, Danno! Thanks for your advice. But seriously, morning does seem to be the best time to work, perhaps because you are so close to your dream cycle at that point. Since it doesn't work well with my schedule, I employ the Balzak method of taking micro-naps.