I got nothing, ladies and gentlemen, no ideas, no thoughts. But it’s Sunday, I post on Sunday, so here I am. I’m not a stickler for subject matter. Some writers insist on having a point; I insist on meeting deadlines. Even fake ones.
Deadlines are really quite useful, they act as motivators. I hate motivators. I don’t want to be energized and eager to achieve; I want to sit quietly, eat cookies. Motivation is for people like Steve Jobs and Antonio Gaudi, Edward Hopper and Matt Groening, you. But for me, motivation spells trouble. And disappointment.
See, I want to be brilliant and clever, I’m just not. Therein lies the problem. I don’t like being reminded. Who needs that? When a person’s motivated, they do amazing, productive things. They create and invent and discover, depending on their particular aptitude. I’m a writer, sort of, in the technical sense, so I crank out words. Lots and lots of words. Piles and heaps of words.
It’s what I do. It’s what I am. It’s bush-league.
Each time I park in front of my computer I think, okay, this one will have wings. Sure enough, the hook is in. How many times can a person be so utterly naive? I’ve come close a few times. When the idea, the imagery, the timing, everything worked beautifully. Those moments, boys and girls, are magic. They’re a goddam motivator.
A near miss is a tantalizing glimpse of pay dirt. So I buckle down and try harder, set my sights higher. Kamikaze high lately — I sent a piece to the New York Times, for chrissakes, and I wasn’t drunk. Just terribly misguided. An auto-generated email response came flying back, confirming receipt. Period. That wasn’t humiliating enough, so I licked my wounds, regrouped, and wrote one for the Washington Post. Bupkis. Not even the auto-generated ‘piss off, loser.’
Stoopid motivation. If it wasn’t for that, I’d be enjoying a lazy afternoon, perfectly content. Not pouting, with my tail tucked between my legs. One of these days I’ll smarten up and stop this nonsense, quit fooling myself into thinking I’m something I’m not. Until then, I’ll keep pretending deadlines and punctuation are important. Or get a hobby.
“Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.”
— Marilyn Monroe
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