Discovering the Relevance of Words
There was something I was supposed to do today.
I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I know I didn’t do it.
I suffer from a problem that I suspect is widespread. The problem is with my concept of time. Before I go to bed at night, the next twenty four hours seems like a vast expanse before me. When I think about the possibilities of all the things I might get done the next day I see nothing but potential. Tomorrow is the day I actually do all things I’ve been thinking about doing for so long. Then the morning comes. I open my eyes with sleepy good intention, but the clock seems to move impossibly fast. When I sat down, I only meant to watch one episode of Cold Case Files while I drank my coffee. Now it’s almost noon and I’ve moved on to The First 48. Potential wasted, I embrace the ruined day and go to the record store.
Hello. My name is Doran and I’m a procrastinator.
There, I said it. I’m a procrastinator. Which is not, as I first thought, a person who gets paid to play with themselves.*
I never do today what I can put off until tomorrow, and it is the absolute worst trait a writer can have.
I once saw a documentary about Charles Bukowski. He was sitting on a dirty couch in what I assume was his home, snarling at the camera and drinking wine. I can’t remember what the interviewer asked him, but he got an angry look on his face and pointed at his typewriter. “A writer has to put his time in here!” or something like that. He shouted at the camera and picked up the machine before slamming it back down on the table. “If he doesn’t he has to call himself something else.”
I know those weren’t his exact words, but the words weren’t what stuck with me. It was the bald hatred in his eyes when he looked at his weapon of choice, the typewriter. At least in that moment, he hated this whole writing thing. But he had to do it. And no matter what state he was in or what excuses he had not to, he made himself write. That’s what I need to remember.
The question I ask now, to myself and to all of you, is what will you wish you had done today? When you wind down for the day and get ready for bed, what will you be glad you did?