"Writing is like fishing: You have to go to the river every morning, or you won't catch anything. You can't predict what sort of fish you'll catch, but if you're not there you'll get nothing. Keith Richards said that he couldn't claim credit for writing his songs, only for being awake when they came in."
Eric Idle – "The Greedy Bastard Diary" (2005)
When I go to bed, I promise myself that I will get up a few minutes earlier the next day and write.
Then, morning comes earlier than it should. A few swats of snooze button later and I realize I only have a few minutes to get ready and get to work. So I promise myself that I will take time during lunch and write.
Then, lunchtime arrives while I'm in the midst of some crisis that absolutely, positively must get done or the world will end. I promise myself that when I get home that night, I will take a few minutes and write.
That evening, I arrive home to a house full of hungry inhabitants (including myself who had missed the day's meals). I turn into super chef, feed the hungry horde, become dishwasher extraordinaire, followed by chief financial officer, and finally defender of my homely realm as I tackle snail mail, emails, and voice messages. After all of that, it's time for bed. I promise myself that I will get up a few minutes earlier the next day and write.
The cycle has gone on for several months now. A few times I've succeeded in pounding away at the keyboard. Then I realize it's easier to use my fingers and type. Sometimes, those efforts created words. A couple of times those words came together and made sense.
For the most part, I would have had more success if I had tried to go fishing. In fact, people seem more accepting if you say you're taking a day off to dangle some string in flowing water. But tell them you're going to spend a day writing. They give you an odd look and ask why you're wasting your precious time like that. Bosses suddenly have projects you need to work on. Spouses suddenly have an impending sense of doom about the honey-do list that isn't getting done. Pets suddenly have toenails that need clipped, bladders that must be walked, and poop-boxes that have to be emptied.
The worse part is all of those excuses for not writing that pop up. If excuses were a cross between a fish and a mosquito, every one would get a bite.
And I'd have something for you to read...