The Early Bird Gets The Coffee
I LIKE THIS TIME OF DAY. The sun is not up yet. The only sounds I hear as I step outside are a few birds that are bothered by my presence as I bustle about opening and closing doors and starting the car. I try to be quiet. We do have neighbors after all.
For years I got up at 7 AM on the dot to be in the office by 8 AM. Now, with that obligation gone you’d think that I would take the opportunity to sleep in. It hasn’t worked out that way. In Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Hit the snooze button.”) that’s how things worked for me.
These days I find my beady little eyes popping open anywhere from 5:30 AM on. Most mornings I am up and in the kitchen making tea by 6:30. Am I not a good hubby to do that? Of course, if I wasn’t making the tea I’d be watching an old movie on TV. At least making the tea is something marginally productive.
Once the tea is brewing and I have amassed my meds for the day, I head off down the street to St. Arbucks. They open at some ungodly hour for people like me who are up and stirring before most sane people.
I go there that early because I can usually squeeze out an hour or so of quiet time to write before the herd of commuters start crawling in on their way to work. I can knock out about 750 – 1000 words in that hour tucked away in the corner. Throughout the rest of the day I try to get a couple more hours at home slumped over the kitchen table with a bottle of water and something to nibble on. I figure that if Hemingway could write standing up I could write at the kitchen table.
At this very moment I am at St. Arbucks and I’m beginning to see some sleepy looking people coming through the door. It won’t be long before one of them tries to engage me in an incoherent conversation.
(Fast Forward 10 minutes.)
“What are you writing – a book?” (Complete Stranger)
“Nah, I’m just writing down a few notes for my Parole Officer. Those guys are so nosy, man.” (Moi)
“Oh, well good luck with that. I gotta get my coffee.” (CS)
…and he wanders off.
Being a Social Animal, despite what you may have heard, once the Usual Suspects arrive, I switch from writing to observing. I get a lot of ideas from those fine people whether they know it or not. I suspect that some of them do. I can tell when one of them is trying to feed me “creative stuff.” That never works. Reality is so much more interesting than anything most of us could come up with.
Trying to be creative, even on a limited scale as this blog, is a hit and miss affair. There are so many obstacles that can get in the way: The Weather (Yes, the weather), Mental State (Currently Indiana), The Clock (How close is my deadline?), and even something as mundane as whether or not my feet hurt.
If you ask anyone who “writes” they will tell you that the easiest thing to do is nothing. Writers are the most skilled Procrastinators in the world. Faced with a blank page or an empty computer screen any writer worth his salt can find 37 excuses to not get to work. In some circles it has become an Art form.
“I can’t write with the Moon in Pisces!”
Today my excuse du jour is that I’m going to get my eyes checked. Why that should keep me from writing is a mystery, but I’m going with it.
You see what I’ve done here? I have managed to fulfill my blog word count quota without being the slightest bit creative. I’m also sure that you have already noticed that. If you have, please don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to have to explain it all to everyone. Let’s just throw a few distractions in the way and nobody will – Oh, look! A squirrel!