The Ides — Write About A Day (Writing Tip No. 6)

“Curiouser and curiouser.”

The Ides — Write About A Day (Writing Tip No. 6)

I’ll have an orange Julius, please. What is that, something orange-y?

Every year this happens, a date comes along and you are reminded of what you are supposed to be reminded of. We had one such case just last month on February 2nd. There were no surprises, Puxsatawney (holy geez, did I spell that correctly without checking?) Phil came out and did his little Caddyshack dance or whatever he does and that was that. Since 2/2, there were probably a few other dates that made you sit up and remember, “Hey, this is how I’m supposed to feel today!” but for the sanity of getting to my point let’s ignore those.

Valentine’s! You forgot Valentine’s Day!

Did I? Check yourself.

Now here we are today, ready to embark upon the Ides of March. What are we supposed to do? Ah yes, BEWARE! Beware of what?

What’s going on in my life that I should be wary of? Is it wary or weary and which is worse? Oh crap I’ve got that big meeting today with So-And-So McCluster & Co. What if the whole bunch of them are just lying in wait for me, ready to pounce and stab and betray. And you, Popeye? You too?

We should not fret over the Ides too march (much), lest we tear our own eyes out going crazy just putzing around, anticipating the punchline yet all the while unable to stop it. Oedipus did that, too. He was the worst at it. Does he have a day?

If he does, no doubt it’s in the dead-heat of August.

Ha!

So then what is the moral of the story? Enjoy every day as if it were your last, I suppose.

It can be. If you choose to view today in that cheerful manner. It is true that one day… the Ides will come, either cloaked or unmasked, for you too. Surely for all of us. But don’t let that bring you down. Have yourself an alrighty time with everything that you do today. Don’t even think about it.

<With his back turned>
Think about what?

———————–

Today’s prompt: Write about a day.

Breaking the Inundation of Inertia

Some things in life are unnecessary distractions. Come to think of it… most are. Do you really need to check Facebook every ten minutes? Ok, sure, your friends’ kids are pretty damn adorable but those pics will still be there tomorrow. And then on Twitter, there’s no less than ninety-two new articles being retweeted in your feed about Jay Z and Beyonce taking over the hospital (interspersed with endless dull jokes concerning Tebow’s 316 yards for Jesus). Steer clear of the nonsense. Close all tabs and get going! Stop reading blogs (as soon as you have finished reading this one) and go warm up your fingers by writing your own words, whatever they may be. Any writing (blog or otherwise) is therapeutic for the lazy writer. In a sense, there is a bit of the lazy writer in all of us. And I am by and large your sluggish king.

A writer writes. How many times have we heard this? But doesn’t a writer also procrastinate, stew in his own uncreative juices, moan, mourn the writing that’s not being done, work a day job, eat, sleep, exercise, make love, shovel snow, love a family, drink, watch television, take vacation, clean the gutters, pay the taxman, be a conscientious consumer and a faithful, dutiful patriot while still questioning your government’s decisions (as is your right) and on and on and on. Yes, this is just an infinitesimal sprinkling of what people do. Everybody has their own stuff, be it normal or weird. I have mine as you have yours as she has hers and we are all together. See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly. I’m crying. Wait. Don’t listen to The Beatles. Not now. As great as they are, they will distract you. You’ll listen to the lyrics and you’ll think, “How brilliant, how simple, how true. Why can’t I write like that?” Why indeed? But listen to the band on your own time. No outside influences here tonight. Just you and your pen. Now is not your time. Now is your Muse’s time. Give in to her and her alone.

I watch too much TV. There, I said it. It’s awful. It’s something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. My grandfather used to call television “the boob tube.” I always found that amusing as a child. Even though I was too young to fully understand women’s bodies (still am and probably always will be), I did know that the word “boob” was pretty funny. Didn’t know why. Still don’t. But in this sense, the boob, as it were, is the fool watching the tube—the fool who is distracted from his work. I won’t bore you with the sob story of my particular distraction any more than I would with the channel guide or what’s saved in the DVR. We all have some reason or other why we aren’t producing. The question is: are we content? Are we sufficiently and ultimately satisfied with the amount, and more importantly the quality of the work we put out there? If the answer is no, we should turn off our numerous distractions—or at the very least postpone them indefinitely—and get down to the nitty-gritty of the business… as I am sure many of our grandfathers have once quipped.

Get down with it now and get down with it. Be something more important than the non-writer you have been pretending to be. Write what you have always wanted to write. And if it doesn’t come out of you immediately, let it grow. Keep it going for as long as it takes. Til you find something special. And then, you will most definitely be hooked on the high of that feeling. So hang on to it.