Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reality 2, Fantasy 0

The fantasy: It's 6am on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I'm just outside of Portland, OR, the morning after my best friend's wedding. I wake easily, the smallest glimmer of sunrise pulling me from bed. Softly, so as not to wake Ryan, I slip on flipflops, grab a journal, and head out to an Adirondack chair on the hotel's sloping front porch. Everyone else is still sleeping, and I have time to write 3, 5, 22 pages of my book before the hubbub of the hotel coming to life saps my concentration.

The reality: 11am, I am huddled over a cup of coffee I can't drink, attempting to eat a slice of dry toast, wondering where I left my glasses. I have spent the last half hour stumbling around my hotel room, squinting at piles of clothing and picking up objects at random in the hopes that they might be obscuring my spectacles. Did I put them under the alarm clock? Between the pages of the Gideon? Behind the toilet?

The fantasy: Monday morning of Memorial Day, I wake before all my friends and brew a pot of coffee in the house we've rented for the post-wedding weekend. The house is quiet, calm. A gentle ocean breeze blows through the window. I take my journal and sit at the rough-hewn dining table, the coffee cold and forgotten next to me as I cruise through 6, 12, 18 more pages of my book.

The reality: Ryan slams the bedroom door on the way back from the bathroom at 10:30. "Gotta pack," he says.
I groan, flinging an arm over my eyes as he flings open the curtains.
"Crap, it's 10:30? I thought I'd get up early and write today," I say, all earnestness.
Ryan stares down at my prone form with a pitying expression.
"Who ARE you?" he asks. "Blanche DuBois? 'Oh, ah'm a southern belle.'"

He has a point. Even New Dedicated Me is not going to get up at 6am on a holiday weekend with friends to work on my book. New Dedicated Me is a bit loonybins to even THINK that I would be able to do this. And yet... and yet... at the end of the vacation, I find myself feeling a little sad that I didn't write anything.

I'm what you would call a skeptical creature of habit. I frown at claims that humans love schedules and routines, yet admit that without a routine, I wouldn't accomplish anything. The only time I can go to the gym is if I'm in a pattern of going to the gym--somehow, the thought of squandering all the previous weeks' hard work on a lie-in and a doughnut is enough to get me up and swathed in Lycra. The same holds true for writing: all that thinking and scribbling I've been doing every morning is going to lose momentum and sputter to a stop if I don't keep at it each day.

So: reality may have won out over fantasy this past weekend, but as of tomorrow I'll be back into my usual morning routine. And I'll probably keep falling off the wagon, but hopefully each time, I'll get back on just a little bit quicker than the time before.

In dread,
Whitney Scharer


Alexis said...

Reality 2, Fantasy 5
That would be the score of AKB actually passing on the -shared- journal -on- time. Shared between the 4 previously mentioned best friends. Like you, I woke up each morning over the wedding weekend clutching the journal, thinking today would be the day. One day I -did- actually write. Alas, it's still incomplete, still in my hands, still awaiting its journey back to Boston where Whit can (most likely) hold on to it for too long as well.

Sonya C. said...

Ha! What's that adage about "staying fit is easier than getting fit"? Here's to staying fit (in a writerly way).

Trish Ryan said...

That's funny...and so true! And when we're dreaming up those fantasy moments, it never once occurs to us that if we did get up and write those 22 pages of prose, there might not be anything usable in there once we get home and reread it.

The joys of being a writer :)

Danielle said...

Let's just say that all the famous writing books that tell you to get up half an hour or an hour early to write? HA.

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