Lamar Giles
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Writer confession: sometimes the discipline just isn’t there…

Real talk. Writers (myself included) often go on about setting a routine, sticking to it, not spending too much time on one project, yada, yada, yada.

Here’s the part you’ll rarely hear. Sometimes, I (and I suspect other writers of this as well) just can’t do it. It’s NOT writer’s block, but pure frustration that has nothing to do with writing. And it breaks the rhythm.

Example: I need to replace the windows in my condo because it’s getting cold and sometimes I swear my current windows don’t even have glass in them. The guy came to give me the estimate. Based on his company’s commericals (“$165 Installed” x 3 Windows) I expected a price of approximately 500 bucks. Ha!! Apparently, “installed” means just that. Doesn’t count disposal fees, aluminum wrapping, window guy’s kid’s private school tuition, Google stock, and whatever the hell else is covered in the additional fees. Basically, the price doubled my ignorant estimate.

Then, two hours later, my dryer decides it’s no longer happy generating heat at my command. Now my wet, clean laundry simply swirls, like a laundry smoothie. I don’t think the dryer will end its heat strike without a mediator (i.e. repair man, who I’m not even sure exists…do people still fix dryers? Aren’t there some Maytag ads about this very subject?).

My point (aside from using my personal public forum to express my monetary woes) is to tell you that I did not complete my usual three page minimum today.

But Lamar, didn’t you just say in your last post that you have to have a routine and stick to it?

Yes, I did. I also said that I rarely skimp on my routine. This is one of those rare moments. I’m not afraid to tell you this because I want you to know that I still want The Job. And I still consider myself dedicated. But, sometimes dedication/determination/discipline isn’t enough.

I sat in the seat. I put some words on the page, but my mind kept wandering to my wallet*, visions of repair bills dancing through my head.

I can forgive myself for the lapse, though. I’m giving you permission to forgive yourself, too.

I’m going to write three pages tomorrow (probably very early in the morning, so early even coffee is still groggy). If you ever feel some personal frustration, take time off and come back the next day. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Every job necessitates a personal day from time to time. Even writing.

*How do you like the picture for this post? It made me think of writing another sequel for the Wall Street franchise. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Because It’s Too Busy Running From Lamar”.*

*Alternate image: Picture a whole family of little animated dollar bills, kind of like the Smurfs. Instead of living in mushroom houses, their homes would be little change purses like your grandma carries. Then, I’d be like Gargamel, always trying to find them to make stew. Or something. I don’t know.

2 Responses to “Writer confession: sometimes the discipline just isn’t there…”

  1. Karen Strong says:

    Ha, the money might be running from BOTH of us.

    But I hear you on the routine sometimes not always being on point. What I try to do and just not beat myself up about it. Writing is a journey and you may have to take a pit stop every once in awhile and regroup.

  2. L. R. Giles says:

    Right on, Karen. As much as we may try, life gets in the way sometimes. I think the key is to at least commit to SOME routine. That way, if you miss a day or two, you know when you’re going to get back into the groove.

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