In the face of

Schedules! I am so bad at schedules. I admire them so much, I enjoy sketching them out, but keeping to them is hard. I sleep odd hours and wake late and half the day is gone. Immediately the schedule is out of whack. I have dreams of actually getting into a routine. A routine! It’s so hard. Lord, how tired I am.

I have classes this semester. I mapped out a graduate diploma, picking classes I thought looked like they might help me with writing. There’s an interesting CompLit paper next semester about folktales. This time around, Creative Writing, and one on history because I enjoy history so much. I have never written a history essay before (how hard can it be? she asks herself) so I will be a Grown Up and give myself much time to do it. I am, however, a little unsure, as the Inverse Law of Academia lurks there in the distance.

(The Inverse Law of Academia states that the longer you spend on an assignment, the lower your mark will be, while the paper you wrote at three in the morning and put the finishing touches on an hour before it was due will score you an A. In my experience the Law has yet to fail. I shall nevertheless attempt to get things done before panic sets in.)

I moaned on Twitter that I was exhausted tonight, and I didn’t know what to write here. A response:

….which is beautifully poetic. You’ve seen my “creativity” in the face of exhaustion, quite recently. I started repeating words. It wasn’t the world’s most eloquent blog post.

But I do like those times, late at night, when you know you should be doing something else like going to sleep, but An Idea springs upon you. Notes, maybe, or a way to rephrase a sentence in what you’d been working on that afternoon, or a new story entirely that won’t wait, or the next scene in your novel, and it’s there, in your brain. You need to do it now. The idea of putting it off is unfathomable. You drag yourself into a sitting position with laptop or notebook and work.

I love that.

I hate that. Especially when it’s very late, and you’re barely awake, grasping a pen and getting ink all over the sheets and your hands and your face, probably, writing by the light of your cellphone screen in handwriting you won’t be able to decipher the next day. And if you could it won’t do you much good as you’re skipping half the words and the ones you’re getting down don’t make much sense. Those are the bad times.

The good times! Oh, when you’re alive and on fire and sleep? what’s that? because there’s this thing and you need to get it done, and in an hour or two when the adrenaline wears off you’re exhausted beyond all reason but you’ve worked.

I’m not very good at schedules. I love them, but I’m not good at them, because I sleep strange hours and screw them up. This year I need to get better at the whole getting up in the morning thing, so I can get to class and all of that. And what of my midnight hours? If I get the itch, will I stop and write? Will I be up until dawn and a zombie the next day?

Of fucking course. Because I can’t help myself.

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