This is the first in what I hope will be a series of not-so-erudite essays that will, for the most part, feel like listening to a drunkard talk to himself at the bar. Rules for series: 1) I cannot write these while sober and 2) … I don’t have anything for step two. So yeah, if any of these essays fail to make sense, or come off as sad, depressing, and somewhat bitter, please pretend like it’s not my fault. Let’s just say that the words ended up on the page that way; I didn’t have anything to do with it. It was like that when I got here.
This is where an advert for some brand of whiskey would go if a brewery or something sponsored me. Still taking on sponsorships. Just sayin…
I’ve had a couple so I think I’m ready to get started. This needs to be something that you won’t take seriously. This needs to read like something I’d write. That’s the troubling part: What the hell would I write? First thing that came to mind was my current novel-in-progress. I could talk about that but no: If it’s not about writing that novel, what could it be? What could I be doing instead of sitting in front of a computer, my eyes bloodshot? Boom, idea for article: Things I could be doing instead of writing this novel.
Let’s get started. This is where we all drink.
Being healthy—starting with an obvious one, beautiful. This essay is going to be great. It seems like a cliché to say that being a writer has aided in developing my taste for alcohol but then again I don’t know. What I should be doing right now is counting calories. I should be on a strict regimen of all kinds of supplements. I should go to the gym more often. I should get out more. I should but man, I’ve got that word count staring back at me and damn I love air conditioning.
Sign up for health insurance—because many have told me that it’s quite easy to get the government to help out with paying for Obamacare. I’ve heard that the deadline is fast approaching. By the time this is published, the deadline will probably have passed. I should have health insurance. I really should. I’ve never had health insurance. I wouldn’t know how to feel knowing that I’m insured. There’s no reason to think me, as a person, would ever be, in any way, insured to do, or be, anything. I’m just a guy, a guy that still needs to write today.
Go to that party I was invited to—it’s not a time to write. It’s the weekend, Friday or Saturday. I should be at that party. I should be at that thing, whatever it is, where people all go and be social and do whatever they need to do to make sure that it felt like a worthwhile time. The party thing is happening right now but I didn’t get that far. I’m back online and I’m typing out these words. I could have a clear conscience, no novel-in-progress to keep me preoccupied whenever I’m not on the document teasing out the next line, the next paragraph, the next lead on where the narrative will go. The party is happening right now and I could have a good time but is it wrong to say that I kind of enjoy staying in, staring at the computer screen, being insane until 5AM?
File my taxes—if I were responsible, I would have already done this one, and during a time when I wasn’t planning on writing. But I’m the guy that always chooses “none of the above” during multiple choice life questions so yo, a reminder to self: Do your taxes now. Time is running out. But not right now because right about now there are those words that I need to tend to and there’s a tinge of worry whenever I think about it. Maybe the novel isn’t going well. Maybe I’m not as confident right now about where the next scene is going. Instead of writing tonight, I could do my taxes. I’m not currently filing my taxes. Safe to say I’ll wake up tomorrow the same way: “unfiled.”
Eat pizza—I know I’m going to eat pizza soon anyway; I could just put a stop to the procrastination and the fixating on the last couple lines that one character in the novel said and order a pizza. I could actually go pick up the pizza. It would give me a reason to stand up and put pants on. But I’ve been drinking and I shouldn’t be driving. I’d get the pizza delivered. Hmm. Pizza isn’t anything more than maybe, what, an hour delay? I’m going to get pizza. That’s a given. I probably already placed the order and the driver is on his/her way. Pizza. Hell yes.
Start another band and actually somehow not fail at music second time around—I keep thinking about it. It’s highly probable that I’ve dreamed about giving it another go. As a bona fide failed musician, I pick up the bass or the guitar at odd hours of the day, just to fill in the need to play a few notes. As a failed musician, I sing (or shout since metal is what I play) in the shower and pretend that I’m still on stage and not a mental case screaming in the shower for everyone nearby to hear. I could not finish this novel and go find people that want to play. I could do all this, I really could, but then I’d have to put up adverts recruiting members, I’d have to find money for the studio. I’d have to do the whole “band thing” again and just thinking about that is exhausting. It’s a whole lot easier to pretend that it’s not too late. I think I’m going with that because it means I don’t have to do anything.
Stalking the performance/sales data of a novel I wish I’d written—other people have done this right? I need to know that I’m not the only one that’s done this. When you spend so much time online, there are a lot of impulsive/compulsive clicking through Goodreads, Amazon, and various reviews outlets that lead to keeping track of books that aren’t yours and/or aren’t a part of the press initiative that you publish. I’ve never held a grudge or grown to hate the novels I’ve tracked; at best, I get a little envious, and begin to turn it into some ongoing drama. Sometimes I talk to the book, wishing it good luck and asking why the idea that became that novel didn’t show up in my mind. In the end, I lose interest but, yeah, for a while I watch those books like people keep up with TV shows and stuff. I pay attention to details like that.
Sleeping like a normal person—it’s getting late and I still have the quota to knock out. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in bed, about to sleep, but then I have to wake up because I have to write something down. It might not even be anything good but I have to write it down. That happens a lot. If it’s not that, it’s nights like these, where I still have the quota to keep and I’ve already worn away half, or most, of the night. There’s really nothing like that panic when you’re still awake when the sun rises. I should be asleep like everyone else with a routine, some semblance of a normal lifestyle. Being able to sleep shouldn’t be this hard.
Do that thing I said I’d do but haven’t done yet—I really need to get this done. It’s kind of important. It needs to happen. If I get it done in time, I won’t disappoint the people involved. If I fail to do this in time, I will be, you guessed it, a disappointment. Is anyone still reading this? Have I disappointed you yet? Yeah, yeah—I need to finally get this item off my to-do list. Oh man my to-do list. Well there’s no to-do list tonight. Going to pretend it doesn’t exist.
Writing this article—because this is something I’m doing instead of continuing to write the novel. I feel like this article is more or less an act in filling a Word document with content while avoiding the fact that there’s still that one scene in the novel that I have to figure out how to get down on paper without it falling apart at the seams. Yeah, here’s something that’s happening right now. I’m drinking too which means I’ll have to sober up a bit before I get started. Novel, you demanding piece of shit. No, I shouldn’t say that. I love you. I mean, I have to or else you end up in some file folder unfinished. You’re still around so something must be working. Right? See, now this is psychotic: Talking to yourself in the context of an essay written by one person, and that person is me.
None of this is making any sense. I should probably stop here. I’m getting to that level of drunkenness where it’s getting difficult to type without everything being a typo. I’m not even talking right now and I’m stumbling, really stuttering across the page. I’ll end it here because it took more than a minute to get this sentence right. And I still need to write. Shit, okay, I need to get to writing. I’m going to start right now. Right now. Now. This is the last sentence of this article. Okay. Cool. Yeah. Writing, always choose words over anything else. Because. Just because.
If you made it to the end of this, you deserve a drink. Stay tuned for more in this series… if I still have any confidence left or anything else to say.
I will probably regret this in the morning.