What's Your Excuse Not To Write Now
I mean, you can't even go out to eat
Oh boy! Now you’ve done it! You’ve found yourself working from home, unable to go out to the local Italian restaurant because of whatever new ban is in effect. You’re pissed off because you think your freedoms have been violated (they have, but I digress). And you’re a writer.
And no, two women eating watermelon has nothing to do with writing, but it grab your attention. I'm not being sexist either, so don't @me, bro! But I think you get where I'm headed. I want you to see the light. And the light is looking beyond words to how those words make you feel. Writers owe everything to our readers. Not our life savings or college funds, but everything that the story demands. The story is everything.
Did you think I wasn’t going to notice? I’ve heard that you have writer's block, or laziness, or some other mind malady. But the one thing you truly have now is time. The most precious of commodities. And you want to write that novel.
So what’s stopping you? The answer is nothing. You are the only thing standing in your way. You have a few weeks, if the news is to be believed, where you can sit back, relax, and get your next great novel done (or at least started).
Assuming you have enough toilet paper, you should be ok.
Your loved ones may not understand your need for space. They tend to be loud when you need that quiet time. I just shut my office door. That usually does the trick to both stifle the sounds and send a clear message that the writer is working. Girlfriend, wife, children. Whatever your noise, find a quiet spot. And then put your ass in the chair and write something awesome.
Fear is easy to propagate. You tell people that the world is ending and they panic. No one uses common sense to think that maybe toilet paper is not the most important item to hoard. Why are there so many vegetables available at the store? Wouldn’t now be the best time to start eating healthy? Whatever. My point is, write about how absurd the world has become over the course of the past month. Write about what you see all around you, and maybe provide some levity to those of us who tend to be too serious.
Times of crisis almost always beget great thinking. Events like the poorly named beer virus have a way of making everyone think outside the box. We need our cages rattled once in a while to remind us that being content, and doing the same old routine, is not always the way. My writing comes from a place of familiarity, but I also tell stories about things that I don’t know much about.
I need a haircut. Badly. But I’m not even sure the barber will be open today. That’s our current world. And while I know that this problem is a small one, it has prompted me to write about the unknown. My uncertainty going forward for the next few weeks will make me uncomfortable (I’m a Capricorn and we need structure). I don’t know if my job will ask me to stay home. I don’t know if my family will be affected. I don’t know much beyond what I read in the silly press. CNN sucks. But I always have my fiction. The fiction I read and the fiction I create. This is part of the process of what we do. It's the ying and the yang. No writing without reading. No excuses.
I’m a writer. You’re a writer. So why aren’t you writing? Now is the perfect time to shut the fuck up and do some work. Feel me?
I’ll let you know how that haircut turns out.