Doing the work to get the work done


I try to start to work

I just wanted to get up on this Saturday morning and do some writing. The specific writing was my pre-Starbucks coffee house comedic novel, Altonstreet and Philpatrick.

I had spent all Memorial Day refining my YA basketball fishing novella, Ironjaws. This was mainly grunt work. But damn if it wasn’t rewarding. At the end of those four days, I felt like Ironjaws was ready to be published. However, I have learned over the years that a novel is never done, completed or finished. You just have to be ready willing and able to let it go.

I did the work

I had that Friday off and spent all four mornings with my laptop out on my front porch of coffee by my side. My time was spent on dialogue tags, cutting down exclamation points and decided to save my semi-colon for another novel.

My porch faces east. I am such and early riser that by the time the sun had risen high enough to shine in my eyes, I had put two hours work in. And had a good couple cups of java. The productive mind work prepared me to experience those weekend days content and attachment free. You see, the benefit for me in working the mind out in the morning via writing is that it changes the way I experience that coming day. And for the better. It is an exercise in release, a way to have achieved purpose in the time at the laptop that allows me to let the rest of the day be what it is going to be. My life works.

It didn’t work

But it takes work to make my life work. Which is bad news for the instant gratification folks. Everything worth anything in this life takes work. The grunt work. The dirty work. The work you don’t want to do. You can’t just download the right app and your pickles will sell. Sorry, people.

Got off track for a moment. So, when this weekend arrived, I was ready to recreate the productive work process that helped me gut out the tedious work on Ironjaws. But, my coffee maker was limed up this morning. Here in the Midwest, there is limestone all over and a bit of it is in the water. The heat of the brewer attracts the particles and clogs up the works. I knew it needed to delimed with vinegar and water yesterday morning before work, when it was already brewing slowly. It was a difficult 12 hour work day which followed that realization. That 12 hour day also took any energy out of me doing anything about it last night. I went to be bed hoping the coffee make would “fix itself.”

Free Vector | Flat person sleeping in bed | Motion graphics inspiration, Character flat design, Character design animation


It didn’t. As you know, things don’t fix themselves. My espresso maker doesn’t fill its’ reservoir overnight either. It started choking itself halfway into brewing my doppio. The doppio I had to have because my drip brewer was not brewing. It sat there next to my espresso machine just making a weird chugging noise, confirming that it hadn’t fixed itself.

I stepped to quickly to fridge to grab my Brita filter to add water to empty reservoir and felt a jab of pain in my knee. It had been bothering me all week. Damn. I managed to fill the reservoir, while asking myself if there were any Tylenol in the house. Yes, but it was in my work bag on the back porch, halfway across the planet from my train wreck of a coffee brewing station. I’d grab some later, after coffee.

Working on it

Another thing I noticed the night before while I was upstairs was that I had no TP downstairs. I meant to bring it downstairs this morning. By now I was brewing my doppio, crema forming slowly. It would salvage my morning to have my doppio on my front porch. Damn the drip brewer. Now, though, I had to at some point go back upstairs to grab the TP. I had to dash up a flight of stairs on my achy ass knee. I think you all understand why I couldn’t put this off.

My doppio in hand, I get my Tylenol, run upstairs to get the TP, feeling the pain of every step. I can’t spill my doppio, my lifeblood, my hope for a productive morning of writing. But the pain in my knee is throwing off my balance and my steps are uneven. I keep spilling it. I am halfway up the staircase before I ask myself why I brought the damn doppio with me in the first place.

Still working on it

But I make to the TP stash in the upstairs bathroom. It takes dirty work. I can’t download an app for this, I tell myself. We can fade out here for a moment.

TP roll a little used now, I make it my porch. I am at last ready to journal a bit. The warmup exercise of my mind work routine. The morning journaling on my porch chair does for my mind what my doppio does for my colon. It frees junk from my mental system and makes room for more useful material. I take journal and pen in hand.

I look up to notice that my porch plants are dry as hell. Friday was a long day at work but so was the rest of the week. It was hot too. I am ready to give up for the day. The work it takes for me to put my mind in a productive writing place is proving to much for me today. Maybe I will look for an app for this instead.

No. I committed to doing some writing to start my day and thus create a better day ahead. I am frustrated enough now that I give up on Altonstreet and Philpatrick. But I feel like I have to write something new, to create something that will calm but energize my mind.

What will work?

I think of other mental exercises I could do. I have to begin to market Ironjaws. Not the right kind of mind work. I have two blurbs already. I can scour the internet for possible leads for another. Naw.  I can work on the front matter. The backmatter? Not feeling it. Wait. I have been working on Ironjaws so much recently that I haven’t’ been able to write a blog post.

That may work.


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