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Friday Afternoon Confessional

I confess I have completely annihilated anything like a writing habit. At my blogging peak, I would get up at 5:30 to get a daily blog post in before I had to get ready for work. Oftentimes, I’d also stay up until 11:00 – or much, much later – working on another post. It didn’t earn me a lot of readers, but it earned me a lot of respect in my little niche blogging community. It even got me a few paying gigs for pieces in publications I could point out to my family at the bookstore.

Two or three years of that kind of pace wore on me, though. I peeled back my commitment and eventually the writing pretty much stopped. Right now, FAC is my only regular writing exercise. I confess this is frustrating because I have three or four projects bouncing around in my head that have made it known they will only go away when I put them down on paper. Sometimes when I’m running, I’ll outline these projects in my head or have an idea about them that gets me excited. I confess when I get home and go to commit some time to the project, I’m all too willing to set it aside for whatever distraction pops up.

Sit down at computer. “Okay, here we go. I need a good hook for the first sentence.”

From downstairs, “Honey!? Did the dogs get their heartworm medication?”

“Not unless you gave it to them.” What a stupid thing to say. Of course she didn’t give it to them. Silence. Resume typing.”If your eye is drawn to the outfield wall of Comerica Park…”

“Well, are you going to give it to them?”

Inaudible sigh. “Sure.” Oh shoot. They also need dog food. And the cats need litter. Crap. I better go to the pet store. Sleep Mac, sleep.

And so it goes. I confess I often resort to shaming myself about this procrastination online to try to motivate myself. I confess it doesn’t work very well, though, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve probably confessed about this very problem in the past. To be perfectly honest, I may be optimistic to call this procrastination at this point. Procrastination implies the task will eventually be completed, and I’ve lost confidence that is the case.

I confess I went out with a group of six to see Jim Gaffigan on Saturday. After the performance, I mentioned that I was now even more excited to see Louis CK in October. One of the people in my group said “That’s the guy we saw in Atlanta and I don’t think we laughed one time. I was like, ‘Is this even supposed to be funny?'” I confess my esteem of this person plummeted after this comment. This, after all, was a dick move. I obviously enjoy Louis CK and I had just said I was excited to see him next month. Maybe it was an invitation for a discussion of why/whether he was funny but it was said in such a way that it felt impossible to contradict her without being more confrontational than I cared to be.

I confess I opted to let it slide and later confirmed with my wife that this was indeed a jerky thing for this person to say. I confess I’m often okay with people being jerks and assholes as long as I can get confirmation from other witnesses that it was indeed the other person being a jerk/asshole.

What about you good reader? Is your to do list growing at an alarming rate while you give priority to eliminating items from your DVR? Are you tormented by tasks whose completion only concern one person in the world? Perhaps if you confess them, you will feel better. Or maybe you found yourself being a jerk to somebody for no good reason. Allow us to be the ones who let you get that off your chest. If you like we can confirm that yes, indeed you were a jerk. Regardless of your beef with yourself, confess.

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September 21, 2012 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional

12 Comments

  1. I confess that my own writing habits resemble those confessed to above, and I still have the chutzpah to call myself a writer.

    I confess that I’m itching to get arrested in another act of mass civil disobedience. Participating in this action would make it 6 years and a day since my last one.

    I confess that I’m taking seriously the challenge of renewal and reflection in the Jewish High Holidays, mostly with the intention of doing something about #1 supra, but also in preparation for the rest of my life.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | September 21, 2012

  2. I confess that I am like Matt and Josh only an order of magnitude more pathetic in that I never published or got any request to write anything. Nevertheless, notwithstanding decreasing hits and comments on The Weblog (a majority of hits being in search of nudity), I find comfort in its regularity. So I hope Josh and Matt keep at it. I try to live up to the standard. If we make it to 2020 we will be THE amateur vintage blogging experience.

    I further confess to feeling bad about not commenting on last Friday’s confession because I hope our spouses get everything they deserve. The Wife provided me with the good fortune of getting a couple of periods where I could indulge my fancy of writing, clean the house, study cognitive sciences, take care of The Kids, & all that. These opportunities to indulge in my insanity did much to keep me sane. I have an excuse for not commenting though: The Wife took me to Dublin for my anniversary week-end. I touched some Joyce memorabilia, and did discover Oscar Wilde was a Dubliner and I felt good about my over-all ‘fuck the opinion of others’ mindset.

    I almost finally confess that I saw a movie this week-end so I won’t feel bad in leeaving Josh’s Monday without a reply.

    The confession of confessions however is this one: if we have two writers-to-be and one would-be writer with a lot of projects and too little time/endurance/proclivity to suck up to whomever decides what goes and what not, here (this sentence being proof enough to identify me as the would-be one), why not try to work them out with the three of us. There is no such motivation as somebody reminding you of your aspirations.

    Comment by Guido Nius | September 23, 2012

  3. I confess I, too, have felt guilty about not adding comments to the Monday posts. Alas, I haven’t been watching movies and the “I didn’t watch anything” comments probably don’t add much to the conversation. I continue to be shocked that more people aren’t anxious to discuss their thoughts on movies they’ve seen.

    As for sharing our aspirations, I’m open to the idea for one of my ideas. The other two aren’t ambitious enough to trouble over in that I can just sit down and write one in an uncluttered evening and the other in maybe a weekend.

    Comment by mattintoledo | September 24, 2012

  4. Just saw this! Better start writing up my moviegoing experience.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | September 24, 2012

  5. So matt, tell me what, where and how.

    Comment by Guido Nius | September 25, 2012

  6. When you say, “what, where and how”, are you talking about the discussion of the writing or the details within the writing project?

    Comment by mattintoledo | September 25, 2012

  7. Matt, sorry, with what I meant ‘what can I do to help?’, with where ‘do we do it in public on the weblog or via mail or something else’ and the how just tagged along.

    Comment by Guido Nius | September 27, 2012

  8. I actually think it would be kind of exciting to hammer out the creative process on the blog, but I don’t really have a feel for whether it would be excruciating for others. I also feel a little weird about being the beneficiary of such a process. Maybe if we set it aside as a series like the Bolano book? We could tag team back and forth, week to week, on helping each other with sticking points in our respective stories/projects.

    I’m just throwing that out there. I have no idea if that sounds appealing or appalling to anybody else, but as I said, I’m open to the idea.

    Comment by mattintoledo | September 27, 2012

  9. I prefer the blog thing. Another way is to do a wiki (from wikidot for instance) but why do the extra effort (depends on type of project)?

    So it is appealing to me. As to appalling: as so many demonstrate, nobody needs to click or read it. The riskiest part of it is trolling but we could edit the core post and close off the comments if that comes up.

    Finally, the like for like, yeah but let’s do it sequentially because doing twi at the same time will be too time consuming.

    What about doing it as Wednesday Well Done?

    Comment by Guido Nius | September 27, 2012

  10. Or as Sunday Stories?

    Comment by Guido Nius | September 27, 2012

  11. I would vote for Wednesdays. I’m not too reliable for weekends.

    Comment by mattintoledo | September 27, 2012

  12. Deal!

    Comment by Guido Nius | September 28, 2012


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