Are you a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule for writing during the day that you follow?
Well I personally lack discipline. Believe it or not there was a time in my life when I was more organized. I had a full time job teaching, a family, two little kids to take care of and a home to look after. Even so I used to find the time to write. No matter how tired I was at the end of the day, I used to always make the time for my writing. All I do now is procrastinate. Move from the sofa in the sitting room to my bed and read, thinking and feeling guilty that I am wasting my time.
My work station has always been my bedroom no matter where my home was. Here in Montreal in my bedroom in a corner near the window, I have my spot for ‘doing my thing’ i.e. writing. Mainly two computer desks, tiny narrow ones from Ikea, stuck together, both passed on to me from my kids when they were still in high school and somehow at some point found the desks to be too narrow and small for their use.
I don’t have a desktop nor a laptop, which makes it easier since it still leaves me with space on the desk. I have a netbook I still use, but the problem with it is its battery. Even though I did change and replace it once before, about two years ago, this one also doesn’t have much of a life. Not only do I have to keep the chord on, but I have to make sure that it doesn’t get loose, and that it is charging. To make a long story short, it needs to be replaced again. But I’m so attached to it now. It’s just like my lucky charm or lucky pen and I don’t want to lose it.
Next to the tables I have a library, again from Ikea (narrow and tall), where I keep my notes and folders. Over the last few years this corner has somehow become my sanctum.
Lately I haven’t used that corner much. Instead the desk is full of the books I have read over the last couple of months. There are folders and notepads everywhere on the desk. And pens, colorful ones, lots of them lying here and there. I have been so preoccupied with my grief and loss and feeling sorry for myself that I have turned into a lazy bum.
And every day when I look at my desk I get so disgusted by it that I promise myself that I’ll get it organized. And then set myself some goal, have some kind of agenda to follow. Anything just to get me out of my so called ‘trance’ state. And of course the day passes without me doing anything.
H. Jackson Brown Jr. wrote:
“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.”
Yes. I am not the first (nor will I be the last) person who lost someone so dear and precious. I decided that it was time to get a grip on myself, get my sorry ass off my bed and start working.
“Why don’t you try the library?” suggested my daughter.
So on Monday morning, I took my notepad and went to the library. There is a new library that opened last month in my neighborhood, I can even walk there. Anyways I went there, had my picture taken and was given a new card. I went upstairs and sat at a desk, got my pen out and stared at the blank page for a while. After some time it seemed to me that the library became so noisy.
I looked around, I scribbled, I looked around some more.
After an hour or so I couldn’t take it anymore and just left. Later that day when my daughter asked me, “How was it?”
I said, “I didn’t like it much.” All this rubbish sounded so awful even to my ears.
“There are no shortcuts to doing something well. Discipline is what matters. Don’t give me that muse rubbish. It’s called hard work. If you have the gift you are lucky, but don’t tell me, “I lay around in bed but the muse didn’t come.” Rubbish” Jeffrey Archer
So next time I’ll be in the library.