Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Doing the Writing

I have a huge backlog of things I want to write, here and elsewhere, that I may not get to in the foreseeable future. As is usually the case with me, I have highs during the day in which I imagine accomplishing an enormous amount in a short period of time. But I recognize, in my more lucid moments, that this is a dangerous delusion. Everything takes time. And writing takes a lot of time.

I had this realization as I was driving to the hospital yesterday, as I was on River between Oracle and La Cañada, musing on the placement of the new Chinese Cultural Center of the Southwest being built on that stretch. You may remember me writing previously about the way in which I regard doing the dishes as an activity particularly conducive to inducing a state of being focused on the moment, like the sort meditation is intended to achieve. Well, as part of that line of thinking I've been trying to figure out a way to adopt the same attitude toward "doing the writing" as I display when doing the dishes.

While I generally post something here every day, it's increasingly rare that I manage to post what I wanted to post. And the "dishes" pile up as a consequence, until I despair of ever finishing the task and contemplate tossing them into the trash and buying new ones at Marshall's. Part of the problem -- the biggest part, I think -- is that I set such high standards for myself as a writer. Although it may not be apparent from what I actually post here, I agonize over almost everything I compose. Indeed, the reason why I end up posting something other than what I set out to post is usually bound up with the conviction that I don't have the time to realize my ambitions.

What I need to learn how to do is to regard that pile of dishes as the only dishes I have to work with. I can't keep starting over. It's expensive and wasteful. So I'm going to strive instead to let myself off the hook a bit and content myself with doing the writing the way I do the dishes, acknowledging from the outset that I'm rarely going to get the whole kitchen clean, but also that a half-cleaned kitchen is better than a trashcan full of food-encrusted dishes. I even think I might approach time management in my writing the way I do when tackling the kitchen, doing a little bit here and there rather than worrying about finding a block of time big enough to make substantial progress. As my first step down that path, I'm not even going to edit this entry. A small step, surely, but one that means a lot to me.
Tags: autobiography, everyday, health

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