Friday, August 21, 2009
The Art of Productivity...
Every night before I go to sleep I tell myself that I am going to be productive the next day. I am actually going to use the hours that tick around the clock wisely and accomplish something grand. I make lists. Long lists. Lists that detail every thing I will do the next day and how long I will spend on said items. When I get up in the morning. Two hours after I told myself I was going to wake up. I look at the list and realize that there is no possible way I’m going to get all that shit done. So I pick and choose and usually end up doing about three things, eating breakfast, watching a Netflix movie and checking my email. If I’m not even going to get to the shower how am I going to get to the part where I am supposed to write for 2 hours on my book idea that’s slowly never getting finished? And what happens to all those hours that seem to disappear from the day without me even going through them—it’s like they never existed.
And I feel so guilty. Because I have all this time and because I have no “job” and because I sort of, well completely love not having a “job” and yet I feel all this pressure to find some stupid paying schedule that tortures my soul because everyone else has to do it and so should I. But why? I know what I don’t want to do and that is conform to capitalism. I don’t have a problem with hard work or even daily work, but I do have a problem with useless time consuming creativity sucking bullshit cubicles and CEO robot soul eating money grubbing power hungry lickshits.
People ask me what I want to do when I get done working on my Masters. As if I will and can only do one thing. I tell them I want to write. As if I can’t do it now. Although I can, but I rarely do because, perhaps, I am scared of success. Or failure. Or a mixture of those.
And every piece of advice I have read about successful writers consists of them mentioning that they treat it like a job, they make it a routine, and FORCE themselves to do it. I don’t want to capitalize my creativity.
Maybe I don’t possess as much sadomasochistic instincts as these people because I can not force myself into creativity or squeeze out words when they aren’t ready.
Oh, but there are techniques. The old, sit in front of the computer and write about nothing for 15 minutes trick, which gets me to write about nothing for 15 minutes and then think wow that really worked I wrote something today…and then I go watch t.v. or drink a glass of wine to celebrate.
Why all this guilt about lack of productivity. Is it innate? Is it socialized? Have I just had too much caffeine? I can’t afford chill pills, not having a job and all. So why all this anxiety? Can I blame the media—Oprah for having 5-year-old millionaires on her show or women who make billions selling muffins—it seems like a fair assumption. T.V. makes me feel inadequate. I can’t measure up to the successes of strangers. Do I need to? Can I be comfortable with the fact that I didn’t really accomplish anything of any value today, no novel got written, but I got the laundry done. No screenplay outlined, but I bought groceries. No new band songs, but I rocked out the old ones.
I guess it comes down to me writing lists.
I need to stop.
They make me feel depressed and unfulfilled if I don’t get to cross everything off by the end of the night. Then I lay in bed thinking about how the next day, I’m going to do better. I spend the whole night thinking about what I’m going to do the next day, I don’t sleep, then when I get out of bed I’m too tired to do all that I didn’t dream about.
And the cycle continues.
And the pages never turn.
And the lists keep piling up with the same goals.
And the night creeps back over.
And the pen slips out of ink.