Write Now

Sometimes I wonder if the songs that I create in my head will be heard by anyone else but me.  I often wake up to a new melody and I have to get it out somewhere, but alas I do not play the guitar as greatly as I imagine I can.  I can pick things out, but by the time I finish picking, I have forgotten what I started with.  Or it sounds completely different and the original is lost in the mix.

Perhaps I could try to be a rapper instead.  Or a slam poet.  I want people to stand around while I recite nonsensical syllables and clap when I’m finished.  Of course, they don’t clap right when I’m finished, because they won’t actually be sure if I’m finished until it starts to feel awkward and I’ve been staring at the ground way too long and then one brave soul strikes out in front of the rest and just claps once, starting a chain reaction of applause that will swell and fill the hall or lakeside park.

What about all the cool story ideas I have when I’m sitting all by myself.  My novel has morphed and changed a lot in my head lately, but none of it has made it to print.  The first draft has, and it has been waiting patiently to be removed from my backpack for the first round of revisions.  But good lord in heaven, how do you even begin to edit a friggin novel?  When I picture George R. R. Martin doing it, he only writes a little at a time and then goes back and edits the crap out of it until it is finished.  Then he writes the next part.  I don’t know why I picture that.  At no point have I heard him describe his writing process as such, but I think even he would be intimidated by the the task that my novel presents.  It’s just a huge hunk of paper that needs an indeterminate amount of changes.  I could start at the beginning . . . but then there’s the part after that I have to deal with.  And then there’s more after that.

In my mind there is a time when all of this is finished.  For some reason I can picture a future where all the tasks I wish to complete are completed and I can move on to what is next on the list.

Oh good lord!  What comes after that!?

The bigger problem here, one that seems to be the most prominent thought on my mind as of late, is when do I start doing things instead of waiting to do things?  When do I get to the point where I am not concerned with outcomes as I am with the task itself.  I’m not saying I shouldn’t be interested in end products, but it seems that I am in the habit of looking at the potential timeline of my life and assigning a rigid order to it all.  I’ve been saying “first this, then that” and “once I have that finished then this will happen”.  The more I hear that voice in my head, though, the more I want to get rid of it and start making things happen in the present.  The future as it stands will always be there.  I know this because I’ve been staring at it like an impatient cook watching the pot on the stove.  I’ve been staring at it waiting for it to arrive, but the present is the only thing I will ever have.

I’m getting pretty deep here, but the sum of my point is that I want to change the way I look at the world.  I am using my writing habits, or rather procrastination habit, as an example of a bigger picture I’m looking into.

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Allow Myself to Introduce Myself

This year I will be 33.  That’s a good age, I think.  And that’s still quite a few years to 115 which is the age of the ladies I just saw pictures of on the Facebook.  Is it wrong to think that science is lengthening our longevity in such a way that 115 won’t be such a rare age in the future?  Will that be in my lifetime?  Who knows.  Maybe we’ll have invented a way to download our consciousness into a computer program by the time I’m 50 so we won’t need bodies anymore.  That’s a weird thought.  I’ve been listening to too many hippie podcasts.

But what do we look forward to in our lifetime?  Is there anything that you will be surprised that they haven’t figured out in the next few years?  I want to be alive when they figure out how to time travel so that I can come back and tell myself that it happened in some subtle way.  Perhaps I can bribe someone into bringing me a message that the future is fine and I do get my studio office like I was hoping I would.  Sure I could come to my house and tell myself myself, but that would blow my mind too much.  If I showed up at my own house to talk to me, I don’t know if I could handle it.  I wouldn’t know what to say to me.  Future me would probably be judgmental of past me for making dumb decisions, and past me would feel self-conscious that future me knew how I was going to screw up.  When future me arrives, I’ll probably try to act cool and not make a big deal about the meeting.  Past me will totally freak out but try to downplay it like it’s something that happens every day.  Then, future me will probably open with something simple, like “What’s up?”  Past me will take a second to think of what to say and overanalyze it because I know that I know what I’m going to say already.  I’ll probably settle with “Not much.  Just enjoying the present.”  Actually . . . I won’t be that clever.  I probably won’t even be able to speak.  I’m staring at myself from the future.  I know it’s me of course, and I look great!  Honestly I will just have too many questions to ask to even know how to respond.  Fortunately, future me will know that I’m freaking out, so before the moment gets too weird, I’ll start filling myself in with what has happened in the future and why it is I’m here talking to-

Wait

Hold on.

This won’t happen.  I know myself pretty well, and unless it’s really an emergency, I won’t want to talk to myself.  I like not knowing what is going to happen in the future, so aside from going back to the past to confirm that I am living in the future, I won’t want to tell myself anything else.  And, coincidentally, I won’t want to hear it.