Writing is a form of productivity, but a rare one that can often be achieved through torpidity; tossing in bed at night, woolgathering ingenious, never-before heard twists and turns that no self-respecting reader could ever deny was pure gold. Needless to say, it’s this very oddball merit of the medium that entices so many would-be auteurs to the page. At first, anyway (staying is the real trick). For writing, in the end, is still productivity. And when the notions of work and toil and creation come to mind—again, productivity—most of us are a little less enthused to embark on such projects after a long day at work, much-less after the continuation of that long day, when we come home and children and spouses, or just life, may be involved.
Writing (in an ‘authorly’ sense) is supposed to be art, or whatever it’s supposed to mean to whomever is engaged with it; it’s meant to be devoid of any normalcy we as average individuals feel throughout the course of our every day, fantasy-less existence. Right? No? Maybe? Sure? Sure. So, yes, naturally you wonder to yourself when the sun goes down and dinner is in the works on a Monday evening as you sit in front of the T.V.: where did all the energy and exuberance of 3 a.m. skulk off to? Were we not absolutely brimming out of our pajamas with desire and drive last night? Were we not melting the very sheets with our well-thought ideas and names and places? Well, we were, but as we eat our Monday evening dinner, dreading work, dreading a routine meant to ready us for (of all states) sleep, we come to the grind of it.
Writing is work. It’s not enough to dream. And it’s not easy. It’s not even fun half the time. But here’s where those special few who first came to the page now stay on the page. Because we know writing is hard, we want to do it. Because it’s work no one asked you to do, and because no one even suspects it’s what you do, we want to do it. It’s because we create not only our own stories, but the time in which we get to create them, that we want to do it. And that’s why, come tonight, we will do it. When your visons and dreams come back, you’ll sneak out of bed and crack the bedroom door ajar just enough to slip through. And you’ll take your time. You’ll take your time spreading your toes to the areas of the floor you know are least likely to creak and pop; you’ll hope those weird sinews in your limbs don’t pop either (strange when that became a thing), and when you reach your laptop—your pen and paper, or notepad, or god forbid, typewriter (silly to sneak there!)—you’ll be vigil and begin or continue or end.
Come Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? Well, those are different stories.
Listen to M.T. Roberts podcast episode here.
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