Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Have the Cake and Eat It


This week my boyfriend is out of town for spring break. It is Day 3 in Fort Productive Solitude, and I'm going nuts. There's not enough time. There just isn't. I had made a lofty goal of pounding out 30 pages in 4 days (I'm going out of town for the weekend), and it almost seemed possible, but for the other to-dos that I ALSO vowed to do now that I have time (time! precious little time!). Wash the shower curtain, change sponges, scrub the bathroom, dust the bookshelf, go to the gym. Cook. Clean. Laundry. Why won't dishes go away? Why every time I eat there're more? There must be a better way to appease the sink. Blood sacrifice? Salt and holy water? On Monday I finished the new beginning to the fantasy script I've been working on, then added another page, then cut 2 pages. Tuesday I started the new script I've been plotting. Wrote 3 pages (only! Only 3 pages!!), then woke up at 2 in the morning and wrote 4 more pages before I realize that I'm not in college anymore and need sleep to function at work. And now, Wednesday! Cruel Wednesday marking the half way point of this week. And soon I will sink back into the swamp of blissful, mindless, happy, oblivion of LOW PRODUCTIVITY.

Onyx once compared writing while in a relationship to cheating on your girlfriend. I think I laughed. I now weep in misery. I suck at cheating. I've tried writing around said boyfriend, behind said boyfriend, blatantly in front of said boyfriend. It's useless. I wrote 10 pages at most in the past month. While he also desperately wants to study for his exam, we are like two people who decided to have an open relationship, but only cruise the bars half heartedly. An hour a day is just not enough for me.

I look back at my life 2 years ago, when I was at the height of writing productivity. I didn't work out, I didn't go out, my food were mostly bought or frozen, yet somehow dirty dishes would pile out the sink onto the counter and eventually the floor. I was quite convinced I was going to die alone in the woods with cats. At the absolute highest/lowest point, there were mice in my apartment and all I did was break off the part of food that I found chew marks, and eat the rest. My cowriter at the time saw this and pointed it out to me. I couldn't figure out what the hell was his problem. If he didn't want my food just leave it. I could do 30 pages in a week back then. I don't miss that kind of life. But I do.

How on earth do people eat a healthy balance of vegetable and protein, cuddle, and actually write daily?

5 comments:

Sassafras said...

See I get bullied. Literally. I'll be reading a book while he's playing video games, and he'll look up from his questing or street fighting and say, "You said you were going to write in a half hour a half hour ago?" Okay, so maybe it's not exactly bullying, but the boyfriend definitely makes me follow through. I finished a full length play because the scenario was repeated every weekend for a month. But now I've started to play video games WITH him. So I'm probably kissing that sweet productivity good bye...

Onyx said...

"How on earth do people eat a healthy balance of vegetable and protein, cuddle, and actually write daily?"

DOA, on a good week I can do 2 of the 3, but usually it ends up being 1 1/2. The balanced diet is tough. I'm usually sitting on my couch, assassinating people on xbox while my girlfriend makes healthy juices with her new juicer. The stuff looks like swamp water, but with the small forest she puts in there it's got to be healthy and cancel out all my pizza and chinese food. So when she's walking by I usually pull on her pants (hopefully getting a peek at her underwear) and ask her for some of her swamp water. I force myself to drink a few mouthfuls, even though my body resists every drop. Tastes like nature. Check one for health.

Then it's a toss up between writing and cuddling. Need to cuddle, need to write, hard to do both these days. I'm currently in a writing drought and work is busy as hell, so I don't feel that I have the energy to do great writing. Always have the energy to cuddle, thanks in part to swamp water.

Ideally I'd have a Sassafras kind of situation where I'm playing games and she asks me to get to work. That would help, and I'm sure she'd be willing to do that more seeing that it would free up the tv for her. It's tough. If you guys find ways to keep the energy up, write, and appease the significant other at the same time, let me know.

Cake Man said...

I've found that not having a significant other frees up A LOT of time.



sad face...

DOA said...

The being told to get to work was an idea I considered too. We try to work together quite a lot, but I get distracted when there's someone else there when I'm writing. He can pick up a pencil and I'll lose my train of thought. And then eventually I just end up tackling him. I had seriously considered telling him to put up a sex ban until we get work done, but that might just inspire me to fight him.

I think part of the problem is we do almost everything together. It's not he's watching TV and I'm making juice. It'd be we make juice, then watch TV together. I had always thought that, our growing desire to work will be matched with us getting increasingly sick of sticking around each other. So we'll get work done for a few days in our seperate apartments, then want to hang again. But that's not happening. It's very much a choice between writing, or being with boyfriend. Is there a way NOT to need to choose....?

Onyx said...

Space is key. I live with my girlfriend and I love it, but there's no sense of isolation. I think most writers would agree with you that we do our best writing when nobody else is around. For now I think we have to suck it up and stumble through good stretches and bad stretches, but I look forward to the day when I have an office at home. If I had that one room I could retreat to and nobody else could come in, I think it would be much easier to pull off the balance.

You don't want to have to choose, but if you do, always choose your boyfriend. We'll always be able to mend poor writing habits and get out of a writing slump. Relationships are more fragile, and if you screw that up it's going to be much harder to fix.