Sunday Rant: Writing

This week's is a day late, too. I spent yesterday outside in the sun eating food and drinking cans of gin and tonic and cycling along the river and generally pretending that I had no obligation other than to avoid obligations. So I've been writing again. Not that you'd know it: the result of three straight days of working on one piece, for instance, was 3,000 words that, once finished, I wanted to immediately erase from both the page and my memory.

I'm not going to lie and tell you that I am waking up at 6 am raring to go and spending the next 10 hours at my computer writing furiously, even though theoretically I could be doing that, because theoretically - THEORETICALLY - I have time for that now. It would be unfair to give you the impression that I was doing that. I'm not doing that. I am mostly sitting and looking out my window, considering the particular Englishness of the greens and greys, wondering whether there is a way to rid a garden of elder, noticing that the hole in my favorite (or at least most worn) jeans is getting bigger, realising that I'm unlikely to replace them until they become completely unwearable, deciding what I really need is a cup of coffee: a cup of coffee will fix it (whatever it is)! And then, occasionally, spitefully, typing something, hitting the keyboard too hard because the sound of writing happening is so rare and pleasant.

I am trying to get up a bit earlier, though. That's a lie. I'm trying to get up in a more normal way. Over the last year I've developed a seriously fucked up method of waking up, which involves setting my alarm for an hour, sometimes two hours, before I actually want to get out of bed, and then hitting snooze for that hour (or two). Every single day.

In a way I enjoy the sensation of waking up and dozing: of becoming aware of things, of becoming aware of the pleasure of going back to sleep. When you just sleep straight through, you don't get to appreciate how nice it is to sleep. The flipside is that when you're appreciating how nice it is to sleep, you're not wanting to get up, which means you waste two hours every morning sort of sleeping but not really sleeping.

So I downloaded this app for my iPhone which supposedly wakes you up in a more natural way. You put the phone on your bed and it senses when you're awakeish and that's when the alarm goes off. It gives you a half hour window, and the snooze time varies. I've been using it for a few days. It seems to work, except for yesterday, when I was simply too grumpy to get out of bed, and the day before, when someone knocked on the door at 7:30 and I staggered downstairs in a dressing gown to discover it was a man asking if we could move our car, only it wasn't our car because we don't own a car, so I went back upstairs and then was retrospectively annoyed about the whole thing so went back to sleep for an hour.

But even so, even though I'm slowly and half heartedly trying to sort out my fucked-up waking up habits, I'm still not waking up and leaping out of bed and writing stuff for hours and hours.

No. This is what I do:

I say, "Oh, I'm going to write something today!" And I sit down in front of the computer and I think, "Oh, I'll just read an article or two. To inspire myself." And so I read an article or two, and I click on a few more links, and check Twitter, where everyone is more successful and interesting than me. Three hours later, I find myself hunched over my desk looking at pretty dresses online, deeply depressed because:

a) I can't afford all the pretty dresses b) I will never be able to afford the pretty dresses because over the course of the morning I've forgotten how to write c) It doesn't matter anyway, because even when I could write I was never as good as all the really good writers out there d) So I don't deserve all the pretty dresses anyway

So I eat some beans on toast to cheer myself up and watch Alain de Botton talk about architecture and freak out because I haven't written anything yet and the day is almost over, even though it's only 1 o'clock (it's like that feeling on Sundays you get upon waking, that the day is almost over simply by having begun). So I write a few words.

And then I spend the next six hours doing it all over again.