Oh, so here we are again, blog. Oh, blog my blog. Are you as sick of this as I am yet? I really need to start doing more interesting new things each day so that I can report back more enthusiastically. And actually feel happy about sharing things with people. Well, on Monday I go to Morocco, so one would hope things will get more exciting then. If they don’t I’ll be in real trouble. Then its game over blog. Game Over! I plan to spend the entire plane trip writing lists of things I have never done in London so that when I get back I can do them all. At the moment all I can really think of is a lot of museums, art galleries, tourist-y things and food/alcohol. Oh, and going up the Shard. I am obsessed with the idea of going up the Shard (conversely, I think going on the London Eye is totally overrated, expensive and touristy. But, the Shard, the SHARD!) I’m going to try and come up with more interesting things. In fact, if you have any suggestions for new things I should do in London, why don’t you add them to the comments below? Or, even, just things you’ve always wanted someone to do! Buy milk dressed as Tinkerbell! Learn the routine to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’! Doesn’t have to be a London-specific thing! It would certainly make life more interesting for me. And for you, too, presumably! Use me as your pawn! Your own personal, living, breathing puppet!
(Disclaimer: I probably won’t do anything against the law and then report on it on this blog. Because of the Government. They have eyes and ears everywhere, I’ve heard. Especially on the internet. And I don’t want to get mixed up in that crap. Dude, do you know what they can do to you? Well, actually, I don’t really. But, I can imagine. Also, I probably won’t do anything too dangerous. Or too icky. Or too embarrassing. But, yeah… don’t feel too constrained. Go wild, guys!)
Anyway. In lieu of anything more interesting to write about, here are the new things I did yesterday and today. Good Lord, I can’t believe I’m about to write this. Not because it’s embarrassing. Because it’s boring. And I suppose it is a little embarrassing. Because it is SO BORING. And yet I’m still sharing it on a public blog. Oh hey, ‘blog-post-equivalent-of-someone-taking-a-photo-of-the-traffic-and-posting-it-to-Facebook.’ (I don’t care if you antiqued it on instagram. It’s still BORING. I ain’t ‘liking’ that shit).
1) Started a daily writing routine
Ok, so technically you can’t start a daily routine on a single day. I mean, it’s not a routine unless you do it over and over again, is it? So, really, I didn’t actually start a ‘routine’ yesterday. I just went and wrote in a cafe for two hours. The main difference was that, on my wall at home I have a brown piece of paper, on which is written, ‘write 2 hours every day…. maybe? See how it goes?’ This is my optimistic life plan for the next 6 months (which even I can’t seem to get behind. Trust me to write some bold statement like ‘write 2 hours every day’ and then immediately second-guessing myself. Just, you know, in case anyone or anything starts to suspect I think too highly of myself. ‘Maybe I could write that much? I mean, if you don’t think that’s too ridiculous, brown piece of paper? I know it’s hard, Mr. Wall, but maybe I could still do it? Do you agree, dead fly on the window pane? You’re probably right, curtains, it was a stupid idea. I’ll just give up now, small particles of dust. Thanks for listening, guys’). Please be assured there are also other parts of the life plan. I don’t just have a long strip of brown paper with ‘Life Plan’ written at the top and then ‘write 2 hours every day… maybe? See how it goes?’ in tiny writing underneath. I repeat, that is not my entire life plan even though, to be honest, it would make everything much easier (Current life plan: become an amazing combination of Lionel Shriver, Sarah Kane, Boadicea, Cate Blanchett’s cheekbones and Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘Cleopatra’ hair. Not quite as simple).
Anyway, as I was saying. Yesterday’s writing was technically ‘new’, because it was part of a ‘Life Plan’. And because I forced myself to write for two hours, even though the characters in my scene were incredibly uninterested in talking to each other about anything of any significance. Even though they kept saying really dicky things. Even though the effort of coming up with each new word was akin to a person attempting to explain stellar nucleosynthesis. In Russian. To someone who only speaks Swahili. Using only the words that appear in Dr. Seuss’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ I did my two hours and I left the cafe and I have never before been so blissfully happy at the relentless, reliable passing of time. I also thought perhaps I should give up playwriting as it clearly wasn’t for me.
2) Continued a daily writing routine.
…however, I am nothing if not annoyingly, foolishly, stubbornly determined when it comes to certain things (as long as those things are not diets, leaving a charity store empty-handed or giving up alcohol). So, although it all felt so horrible yesterday that I left Cafe Nero thinking that with the amount of work I had done, I may as well have sat at home in front of the television instead of wasting my money on a cup of tea to sit in a cafe and stare at a screen and type approximately 3.45 words every half hour (and then deleting 6 of them two minutes later). ALTHOUGH this was how it felt, I headed to the Esca cafe with my laptop this afternoon straight after work. Even though I hadn’t yet eaten. Even though I had no idea what I was going to write about. Even though yesterday had convinced me I should possibly be considering a permanent career change to say, garbage collector, or laundress, or bus driver. Or anything at all that did not involve putting one word after another into sense-making patterns of sentences and paragraphs and pages.
And, of course, as is mostly the case with my life, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. The lovely thing about doing a bit of work one day and then stopping and sleeping for a bit and then starting again the next day is that your brain makes all sorts of connections in the nighttime without you feeling like you’re doing anything at all. You just get to have nice dreams (though, actually I had a lot of very depressing dreams last night. Whatever. It seemed to help). I actually worked this out many years ago – back in high school, if you’ll believe it – but have always lacked the motivation to use the technique in real life. In university, deadlines and gradings and lecturers encouraged me to hone this technique for essays (read everything as early as possible, make notes and then spend 5 – 6 weeks just thinking and processing before sitting down and writing the essay in a single afternoon – efficient, painless and feels almost like magic), but when it came to my own writing, I tended to wait until the last possible second, then write up some half-baked idea with no ending in a mad dash the week before and then get disappointed when it was rejected for whatever it was rejected for.
Anyway, part of my current life plan is to ensure this behaviour stops. I’m almost 30. I should be able to consistently work towards something that I apparently want in life. As amusing and as easy as it is to be hopeless, I think I’d like to start kicking some goals for a change.